Rain helps some

The recent rain is helping some Central Alberta farmers, but can’t transform their stunted crops into a bumper harvest, says an agriculture specialist.

The sun’s return after days of needed rain brought out canola blooms west of Bentley Friday.

The recent rain is helping some Central Alberta farmers, but can’t transform their stunted crops into a bumper harvest, says an agriculture specialist.

“It will help with the yield that’s there,” but the potential is still pretty much below average, said Mark Cutts, a crop specialist with Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development’s Ag Info Centre.

Cutts said most Red Deer-area crops are undersized, reflecting the drought and frost conditions of “a tough spring and early summer.” Early July rainfall of four to 10 cm in areas west of Stettler will help some of these stunted crops to mature — particularly canola, which is about to flower.

But Cutts still expects farmers will have lower-than-usual yields at harvest time, when other difficulties could surface.

Many producers will be challenged by having two crops to bring in.

Some seeds started germinating in early June, said Cutts, while others didn’t have the moisture needed for germination until this month.

If the two uneven crops are interspersed in the same area, he predicts some farmers will need advice at the end of August about how to harvest the older crop, while giving the less-mature crop a few more weeks in the ground.

The other problem is getting the second crop to mature before it’s damaged by frost, said Cutts.

Despite the recent rainfall, he believes prospects are still bleak for farmers east of Stettler, who were most affected by spring drought and may have no crops left to salvage. It is possible that some rain in east-Central Alberta could help turn hay into a palatable pasture for livestock, however.

“It depends how much there was.”

Cutts hopes periodic rainfall continues throughout the rest of the month to give the moisture-starved soil a chance to replenish.

The forecast for next week, so far, looks favourable for farmers, with cooler temperatures and rain expected on Monday and Tuesday.


Just Posted

Sasktachewan pup, who has extensive burns, makes her way to Red Deer

Donations accepted for Phoenix who has third degree burns on her body

Man dead in ATV collision in central Alberta

The Rocky Mountain House RCMP are investigating a quad rollover collision that… Continue reading

One airlifted to hospital after avalanche on glacier in Yoho National Park

LAKE LOUISE, Alta. — Parks Canada says it has responded to an… Continue reading

Hundreds of Canadian troops deployed to flood zones in Quebec and N.B.

MONTREAL — Quebec Premier Francois Legault will visit flood-damaged regions north of… Continue reading

WATCH: An ‘Eggstemely Fun Easter’ at Bower Place in Red Deer

Bower Place mall made sure Red Deer families were able to have… Continue reading

New Brunswick premier urges caution as floodwaters continue to rise

FREDERICTON — Rising floodwaters have forced the closure of at least 25… Continue reading

Witnesses still struggling one year after deadly Yonge Street van attack

TORONTO — The survivor guilt settled in moments after he saw all… Continue reading

‘Shocking violation’: Parish prepares to re-bury remains after grave plundered

ST. JOHN’S, N.L. — Largely untended for decades, the toppled and faded… Continue reading

President attends Easter service following slew of tweets

PALM BEACH, Fla. — President Donald Trump is using Easter morning to… Continue reading

Easter Sunday blasts kill at least 207 in Sri Lanka

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka — At least 207 people were killed and hundreds… Continue reading

Soldiers deploying to flood-prone areas as water levels rise in New Brunswick

FREDERICTON — About 120 Canadian soldiers will soon be deployed in western… Continue reading

Soldiers deploy across Quebec after flood-caused sinkhole claims woman’s life

MONTREAL — Canadian Armed Forces are deploying in three regions across Quebec,… Continue reading

Most Read