Opening day at the Lacombe Corn Maze at the Kraay Family Farm is July 17. (Photo contributed)

Central Alberta farmers hope for heat

80 per cent good to excellent crops

Central Alberta farmers are hoping for more heat and less rain in July.

Rachel Kraay, of Kraay Family Farm and the Lacombe Corn Maze, said crops in the region look good, but many farmers have had to work around wet, low-lying areas in their fields.

Some dug trenches to release excess water, she said Tuesday.

“What we’re noticing is there are spots we need to go around for a while as we wait for them to dry up. But as far as growing, everything is excellent,” Kraay said.

“We always hope for our corn to be knee high this past weekend, and some of it’s up to my shoulders. I think we’re on par with most years.”

The most recent provincial crop report said the south and central regions received widespread rain and some scattered hail in recent weeks.

Overall, crop conditions were 80 per cent good to excellent, and above average in the south, central and northeast regions.

The central region was reporting 30 per cent above the five-year average.

Kraay said corn loves humidity, but such weather conditions also bring storms and the threat of hail.

“Every thunderstorm we see, we hold our breath until it’s gone,” Kraay said.

Related:

Lacombe Corn Maze expects to open July 17

Rain taking toll on farmers’ crops

Humphrey Banack said farmers along Highway 2 in the Red Deer area usually see more rain, which is the case this year.

“Those guys were all pretty wet along there,” Banack said.

Probably 10 per cent of crops have drowned at his Camrose-area farm.

“There are still fairly large pockets of wet out here. We’re floating in water,” said Banack.

He said Tuesday’s forecast was for about 70 millimetres of rain.

“I don’t remember a wet season lasting as long as this. We came through a wet spring, a challenging spring to get the acres in, and now this.”

He said ruts caused by machinery in the wet fields means extra repair work before next season. And where there are ruts, there won’t be any crops this season.

Canola and wheat are currently a few days behind schedule in maturity, Banack said.

“We need some hot weather in July to move these crops along, so we’re not drying every bushel we take off in October and November again.”



szielinski@reddeeradvocate.com

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