We bet you and your family have not been enjoying this wet, cool spring. Our grain farming families sure haven’t! Wet and cool weather in the spring means Ontario grains will be late getting planted as grain seeds cannot grow in wet or cold ground. In fact #plant2019 is one of the wettest springs many of our farmers have ever seen, we know this because we talk about the weather A LOT here at Good in Every Grain!
Farmers need to plant their grains by a certain time to ensure the crops are mature before the fall frosts- mature crops are harvested and sold to make many food and household items. Many farmers also pre-arrange to sell certain amounts of their grain. Now with the delay, they many not be able to grow enough to meet those arrangements. Many have bought seed, fertilizers and pesticides anticipating a certain amount of grain in the ground- now these purchases are waiting to be used.
What are farmers doing?
Many are anxiously watching the weather forecasts and waiting for the ground to dry up enough to get things planted. They can change their crop planting plans: what field will get what crop, how much tillage to use, what seed variety to plant, or even planning to plant a different crop altogether- based on what will now fit the soil conditions. They are constantly, watching, waiting and changing plans to make the most of this delay, without sacrificing too much of the grain quality.
This spring has also caused a lot of stress on Ontario farmers, who already are at a high risk for mental health illness. After a wet fall and tough harvest in Fall 2018, this spring planting delay stress was definitely not needed. Many farmers have taken to twitter and other social media sites with the hashtag #Noplant2019 to share stories and support other farmers in similar positions. No farmer is alone in the stress they feel about the weather.
But many are trying to remain positive- there is sunshine in the 14 day forecast for my family’s farm in Dufferin County and I know plans are being made at home to get the ground ready and the seeds planted as fast as possible when that sun comes out.
Some years we hope for rain, other years we hope for good market prices, and this year we are hoping for sunshine and warm temperatures all in the name of growing safe, affordable and nutritious grains.