Farmers working in the Canadian Prairies are in for more delays to their planting procedures as forecasts anticipate heavy rain this week.
Environment Canada on Tuesday issued a statement saying that that 30 to 75mm of rain will fall over central Alberta today.
“The entire northern two-thirds of Alberta, northern one-quarter of Saskatchewan, they don’t need a single drop of rain. Every bit of it is too much,” World Weather Inc. senior agricultural meteorologist Drew Lerner said.
Portions of Saskatchewan were also expected to experience downpour Thursday, Reuters reported.
“There’s a lot of people who have barely started [planting],” explained farmer Laramie Eyben, who works near Vermilion, Alberta. “There will be people who don’t get half their crop seeded.”
Canadian Prairies-based farmers were unable to harvest their entire canola and wheat crop last autumn due to wet conditions that continued well into spring. The upcoming rainy weather is expected to cause even more delays for farmers, and could even lead to the loss of their crop insurance, if conditions persist.
Farmers in Alberta only have until June 05 to plant grain and canola to qualify for insurance on crop quality. They also have until June 20 to qualify for yield insurance.
Although historically most of the planting done in the western farm belt is finished by May, data from the provincial government suggests that 31% of Alberta farmland was planted as of May 16 – less than half of the five-year average pace.
Unharvested crops, soaked soil, continue to complicate life for Prairie farmers
Alberta’s farmers turn to crop insurance as weather rocks region