SOUTH DUNDAS – While all of this wet weather has been a bit depressing for many folks on a personal level, it is having a much more profound and tangible impact on area farmers.
Following an April that was not all that dry, May has had record rainfall and cooler weather.
“That’s a combination that leads to lands that aren’t drying,” said Steven Byvelds, president of the Dundas Federation of Agriculture.
The upside is that there have been small windows of decent weather that have allowed most local farmers to get corn and spring grains planted. Soybean crops are lagging behind a bit, but according to Byvelds there is still time to get those in the ground.
“It has been one challenging spring,” he said.
What is worrisome today is the ponding that will have an impact on yields. “That affects the spending of farmers and thus the overall local economy,” said Byvelds.
“It’s always nice to get things in the ground and growing with a good start, but that good start is just not there this year. What we really need now is warmer weather.”
He says that dairy farmers will need some drier weather for hay.
Like the grain crops, fruits and vegetables are a bit behind this year too.
“Everything is behind, and that’s just due to lack of heat. We’ve had lots of moisture, so what we need is heat. That’s what grows the crops.”
“It has been a frustrating spring for all of us, but we can still have a decent average year,” he said. “The high yields won’t be there, but this year shouldn’t be written off yet.”