Despite heavy rainfall near the start of the growing season, crop yields across the M.D. of Bonnyville are looking to be on average, and possibly above average for the year.
“The rain created a lot of drowned out areas earlier in the year that haven’t recovered just yet, and it’s still up in the air as far as solid numbers for yields, but yes, it’s looking to be on average for us,” said GM of environmental services Matt Janz.
While there has been significant damage done to fields as a result of the rain–some fields may only have five to ten per cent of their regular harvestable acres–not all the damage could be attributed to the excess water.
Janz speculates that because farmers were unable to spray their crops in June, weeds would have sprung up in many fields and competed with crops for nutrients within the soil.
In an ironic twist, it seems that fields at higher elevations are responsible for helping to average out yields for the year.
“The yields are going to be better than usual in the higher areas because the water ran down a slope, and at the bottom near to the field there was an abundance of moisture,” said Janz. “It’s kind of a give and take situation.”
Despite the good news, fall could still prove to be a challenge for farmers should the weather begin to cool.
While there have been setbacks throughout the summer, Janz says that the M.D. is looking to be in better shape than most of the province.
“We’re pretty fortunate in our localized area, because I’ve seen some pretty poor areas towards Edmonton, places like Barrhead, Westlock, Peace River, their crops aren’t looking very good,” said Janz.
“It’s hard to say what’s gonna be in short supply and what won’t, so we’re gonna have to wait and see.”