Farmers face effects of record-breaking summer
Published Wednesday, August 24, 2011 6:07PM CST
Some farmers in the Interlake area say extreme shifts in weather this year have them wondering if they'll able to continue.
The wet spring posed issues for many farmers, while the subsequent dry summer has added to troubles.
Weather officials said this summer could go down as the driest one on record.
"Certainly for agricultural producers now, this is the most stressful year for precipitation in our records, which go back to 1873," said meteorologist Jay Anderson.
In Winnipeg, the previously driest summer on record was in 1961. So far this summer, the city has only had 84 millimetres of rain. Anderson said the extremely dry conditions this summer extend as far south as Texas.
Randy Penner has been farming for 37 years in the Interlake. He said the extreme shifts in weather this year have been tough.
"We only seeded 20 per cent of our crop, because it was too wet," said Penner.
Now, the heat and dry weather have had an impact on the limited crop they were able to plant.
In a wheat crop, they'd like to see about 45 to 50 bushels per acre. This year they'll be lucky if they get 30 per acre, he said.
Doug Chorney, president of Keystone Agriculture Producers, said the weather in the next month is crucial.
"We do need some precipitation for crops that are still growing like soya beans, corn, and sunflowers to fill out and complete their development...they'll be harvested starting in late September into October," said Chorney.
Penner said that rain in the next while might not help him much this year. He said he's already considering next year.
"Quite a few fellows like us that are in the grey-hair area – how many years do we have left? Do we want to continue doing this?" asked Penner.
- with a report from CTV's Nancy Carlson