September 25th, 2018

Wet conditions causing headaches for area farmers

By Tim Kalinowski on May 20, 2017.

Cypress County farmers are having to make some tough seeding decisions this spring as ongoing wet conditions make work difficult, says Seven Persons area farmer and Cypress County Coun. Dustin Vossler.

“It has been the muddy conditions that have created the problems, and it’s also been the sporadic showers of rain we’ve been getting. When you have 5/10ths of an inch here, 5/10ths there, it makes it a little bit interesting to get the crop in the ground.

“When you start direct-seeding into a wet field you start to plug up quite badly … It just balls up in front of the drill and plugs everything off. Then you have to be out there cleaning — the question at some point becomes, do you want to be out there doing that every second pass? Or, do you just wait until it’s dry enough to continue?”

Vossler says some farmers further north in the county have opted to seed around troublesome wet spots, just to get something in the ground this month.

“In our Seven Persons country, there is not too terribly much standing water. When you get to that Irvine country, and especially farther north in Schuler and Hilda, there is lots of standing water in the field, and lots of guys who are going to have to go back in the next couple of weeks and reseed up to 10, 20 or 30 acres of sloughs per quarter.”

Vossler says the weather has improved in recent days, and the forecast is favourable, which should allow many to get back on track over the next week.

“With May long (weekend) here, we were all expecting rain. But it looks like it’s going to be fairly nice for both the farmers and the campers. Fingers-crossed,” he says.

According to the Alberta Agriculture and Forestry seeding report released this week, farmers in the south zone have about 40 per cent of seeding completed, which is significantly lower than the five-year average. Usually farmers in this region are about 58 per cent done seeding by this time of year.

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