Rain. The word on everyone’s minds lately, but even more so for the farmers who have been unfortunate enough to receive all the rain this year. Farmers across the province struggled to plant their grains this spring, and many were optimistic for the weather to hold off long enough to give the plants a chance to grow. Many were also optimistic enough to spray liquid nitrogen fertilizer and necessary fungicides and herbicides to protect the growing plants. But after inches of rain last week, farmers are now concerned that their crops might not survive.
My family farms in East Garafraxa township, growing corn, soybeans, and wheat. After the heavy rain and storms Thursday night, we checked on the fields to see how bad the floods were. Rivers and creeks were flooding in nearby towns and communities, so we knew there was too much water in our area. Close to 4 inches fell in one night, causing the tiles and ditches to fill and flood into the fields. One field of ours alone had 18 acres under water. That’s equivalent to about 40 hockey arenas of land… under water. And that was on one farm alone. Many neighbours in our area had flooding in the fields and fast moving water carrying the plants and soil away. Today, we were able to check on the fields, and many have begun to dry up. Thankfully, water is no longer pooling on the plants! But we aren’t out of the clear yet. Over the next few weeks, many farmers will be closely monitoring their fields to see if there is any long term damage from the rains, as well as waiting on the fields to dry to begin spraying the necessary pesticides and fertilizers that haven’t been applied this spring.