Alberta Farmers Face Challenges From Hot and Dry Weather
Alberta Faces a Strange Year for Weather
Hot, dry weather in some parts of the province are making for variable conditions among crops.
“The lack of moisture will impact the yield, but the quality may benefit because of less risk of frost because of the heat,” said Humphrey Banack who runs Banack Farms in Round Hill, about 25 km northeast of Camrose.
“There are some areas that could have used some rain earlier and there are some that could still use some rain,” said Banack, who grows grains and oilseeds and is also the vice-president of the Alberta Federation of Agriculture.
The federation’s president, Lynn Jacobson, who runs 3J Farms in Enchant, about 70 km northeast of Lethbridge, said his dryland crops have been taking a hit this year.
“The last few weeks of 30-degree-plus weather have taken their toll,” he said.
“There will definitely be less yield per hectare.”
The irrigation crops are doing better, however increasing utility rates and the fact he’s using more electricity for irrigation this year means Jacobson is taking a financial hit to keep those crops up to snuff.
Jered Serben, vice-president of the Alberta Farm Fresh Producers Association, said farming conditions have been extra variable across the province this year.
While he received nearly 30 centimetres of rainfall at Serben Free Range, about 120 km northeast of Edmonton, in the spring, a farm just 50 km away had practically none and was forced to haul in water.
“Usually whole regions would get rain,” he said.
“It’s definitely been a strange year as far as weather goes.”