State of agriculture in the Municipal District of Bonnyville remains dim. Reeve for the MD, Ed Rondeau says in some areas are better than others, “the crops are better than anticipated, but a long ways from what you would call good. But they’re not as bad as people thought they would be.”
The recent rainfall may have come at the wrong time, explains the Reeve, “that is going to put some moisture back into the ground, much needed moisture. But it never fails, it also comes at the time when the farmers are removing crops, so this sets them back again. It wets the ground and in this case it wasn’t soaking rain, so it really soaks into the ground.”
This can become an issue, “crops that are swathed for instance, it’s wet underneath because the ground is wet. So the moisture comes up. Swathered crops need good dry weather. Now, to dry the grain or dry the swatchered crop is going to take good weather because the days are shorter and the weather’s not as hot. It’s going to delay things, that’s for sure.”
This is typically the time when farmers are pulling the crops off the field, however it is more optimal if dry. “The farmers have already started harvesting,” explains the Reeve, “a lot of them had harvested peas, wheat, and barley. They’ve been going full-board. It’s that time of the year.”
On August 11th, 2015 the MD declared the region in a state of agricultural disaster after a particularly dry – drought-like summer. The province of Alberta followed suit on August 21st. As predicted by Reeve Rondeau earlier in the summer the agricultural disaster has caused the price to sky-rocket in the region, one listing out of St. Paul pricing a bale at $120.