Heavy snowfall further hampers already delayed harvest in Alberta
Farmers across the province continue to be challenged by the cold, wet weather of late as most of their crops remain in the fields.
Based on annual averages over the last five years, approximately 80 per cent of crops should have been harvested by this time. This year, only 40 per cent of harvesting has been completed.
Tony Marshall’s wheat on Highwood Crossing Farm near Aldersyde remains in rows weeks after it was cut. “It’s certainly not dry enough yet,” explained Marshall. “We want to get it down to 14 per cent (moisture).”
Marshall sees little reason for optimism on his combining prospects in the coming days. “The forecast is looking at more snow and moisture in the next couple days so we are definitely running out of time.”
“It would be nice if it smartened up for a few weeks here so us, and the rest of us across the country, can finish harvesting.”
Oneill Carlier, Alberta’s Minister of Agriculture and Forestry, says farmers are a resilient bunch who have faced similar conditions before.
"I understand the wet and snowy conditions are delaying harvest and having an impact on the quality of crops in many parts of Alberta,” said Carlier in a statement sent to CTV on Monday. “Cold, wet weather has been the norm in the past several years (three years) in almost all areas of the province.”
“I am confident we will get through this adversity once again."
Carlier says the situation is being closely monitored to ensure farm families in Alberta receive the proper support. “We have taken a proactive approach by providing Alberta producers with Business Risk Management programs through the Agriculture Financial Services Corporation (AFSC)."
With files from CTV’s Alesia Fieldberg