Wet spring causing headaches for Canadian Prairie farmers

More than 2 million acres of unharvested crops left over from last fall in Alberta, Manitoba and Saskatchewan. Those old crops need to be cleared out before new seeding can begin. Even then,  the ground is still too wet to plant.


Alberta’s Agriculture Financial Services Corp. says there are about 400,000 hectares of insured unharvested crops left over from last fall. A similar amount of uninsured crops remain in fields. (A hectare is equivalent to about 2.47 acres.)

In Saskatchewan “over a million acres didn’t get combined last fall in the province,” said Todd Lewis, president of the Agricultural Producers Association of Saskatchewan.

And in Manitoba, about 40,000 hectares were not harvested last fall, mainly in the southwest.

Water from rain and melting snow is soaking the grain and oilseed crops that farmers were unable harvest last fall due to bad weather.

And fields they did manage to harvest are too sodden to walk on, let alone seed, due to a cold and wet spring.

“I haven’t seen this much water lying around in all of the years I have farmed,” said farmer Humphrey Banack.


Thanks to Dave Whitton for these links

19 thoughts on “Wet spring causing headaches for Canadian Prairie farmers

    • Could be. In Canada we really ought to check the historical record if any to find out what the last little ice age was like for farmers and food production.

        • there was an economic depression in 1837, longest in US history lasting into the 1850’s, and only mitigated by the discovery of gold in 1848 (CA) and other places thru the early 1850’s. The economy recovered as the gold got into the money supply, and the Jacksonian speculations were liquidated.

          • Agriculture would have been a larger part of the economy at the time so anything that was bad for farming would have been bad for the economy and for politics.

          • That was also because the bankers induced a depression after Andrew Jackson in his 2nd term got rid of the 2nd central bank of America. Thye told him they would do that.

            When the USA got rid of the first the bankers gave you the war of 1812.

            Now you have had the FED for 103 years, thanks to Woodrow Wilson and 1000% inflation since then.

            Over the first 200 years the USA basically had none.

  1. Last year at this time, the temperatures were in the 20s Celsius and the humidity was quite low. Those conditions were a major reason for the Fort McMurray fire. This year, from about 2 weeks from April 15th, temperatures were close to freezing for daytime highs. There were 3 wet snowstorms that passed through. Although the snow melted in hours, the air was still cold enough to keep the ground moist. The temperatures are finally warming up and can at least dry the ground. Still, there’s still springtime showers to face. Hopefully, there won’t be any downpours or long term soakers.

  2. oh crap!
    ripe for all sorts of mold /fungals and bloody mice to breed up!
    so NOT a good look
    theyd probably be better trying to burn it off rather than plough it in. sure would be risking any stock that might be hungry enough to try n eat it;-(.
    one of the hardest lifestyles is farming.
    if its not the bloody bankers, the poison merchants for seed n chem and the buyers doing you over -its Ma nature.

  3. Good, let the GMO crap stay out there and rot, if it will. My NON- GMO farm is dead,so I don’t care about food anymore, for anyone else. I’ll bet you a hobby farm they spray roundup out of those 30,000 ft. spray jets.

    • my honest sympathy Squatterman. i agree re the gmo crap-
      but thats definitely the one to burn really well!
      and yes roundup and other toxins will be applied heavily as soon as the first weed leaves appear ;-(
      amazes me cos its as easy to just disc or till to kill weeds for the same fuel AND less cost for poisons before planting.

  4. You MIGHT get a dry and warm period soon to plant this season’s crops. You might ALSO get an early frost later this year before harvest has begun, or a persistent soggy summer pattern that would lead to outbreaks of blight and thereby ruin the entire crop.

    Farming is fun stuff, always dealing with fickle weather, and always rolling the dice with being able to stay in business one more year. Yet we all must eat, so if you’re doing that, thank a farmer.

    • That is that critical aspect – we all need to eat food produced on these farms all around the world. So it is guaranteed that when there is widespread failure of staple crops the people who shop for their food will suffer enormously. its just that there is a time lag between the farmers feeling the pinch, and the rest of humanity feeling the pinch.

      That is why it is so important that the people who read this site and others like it, must get themselves prepared as best they can. Winter is coming.

    • Hi Steven, What an interesting documentary!
      From it, the clues are there but poorly presented perhaps AGW funding was playing its part in curtailing the presenters views. Reduced solar energy production was only presented as taking place during Maunder, yet the whole sequence of the Little Ice period encompassed several Grand Solar Minimum events, Oort, Wolf, Spoorer, Maunder and lastly Dalton
      With the exception of Spoorer and Maunder as double cycle GSMs both lasting 70 or more years. The others are paired cycles similar to the LILIA which preceded the LIA during 600AD, and this Modern GSM which may mark the start and end respectively of the current 1500 year disturbed solar period.
      The other thing which stuck was cereals and its weakness during cold and wet climate events, the cereal food payload is the very heavy seed head, perched on a weak stalk, which breaks readily in strong winds, rain and snow.
      Although, most cereals during the LIA and until quite recently, were significantly taller to almost 3Ft, compared to modern short stem varieties which are half the height. Bred to reduce the waste straw and facilitate mechanical harvesting.
      I have a fear that modern life tied to urban living and food issued via Supermarkets would not be able to cope with the break down in society experienced during the LIA. Then, most were able to grow food on their own plots, not any more, try finding a place to grow food in a major town or city.

    • yeah
      and the embarrassment of getting bogged ;-/
      my blocks on a main rd
      and i have had to dig my tractor out a couple of times already
      Im learning how…the hard way..not to do many things;-)
      so far ive got stuck in really wet..it looked and felt firm..till the weight of the tractor hit it
      and also on too dry still, one disk pass was ok
      the 2nd was..foolish..but i did manage eventually and did wipe a lot of weeds out.
      i planted oats n pasture
      i should have chosen Rice! paddock was flooded for 3mths + and rice would have survived
      nothing else did.

  5. wonder how many remember those Russian scientists who said the next little ice age actually started in late 2014, and will accelerate after 2017?

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