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Canada - Farmers worried about crops as drought continues

A lot of farmers are looking up at the skies these days… Wondering when it might rain. A minor drought could see some area farmers cashing in on crop insurance. Many of their fields are burning up … Putting crops and livelihoods at risk.
The old saying, you have to make hay while the sun shines has taken on a whole new meaning for area farmers like Kevin MacLean, who are begging Mother Nature for a little rain.

Kevin MacLean/Farmer:
“If you look at this area of the crop where it’s fairly lush right now, if you look down you can see the yellowing of the leaves so this crop is suffering from a drought stress right now.”

The last month has been incredible weather for growing crops but now they need water….rain that’s just not coming.
The Cataraqui Region Conservation Authority is advising of minor drought conditions stretching from Napanee to Brockville and north to Newboro.

Sean Watt/water Resources Engineer:
“We’re less than average for rainfall over the course of April and May, our stream-flows are quite a bit lower then they normally would be at this time or year, we’re actually seeing about summertime levels.”

Which isn’t good for crops.
In Eastern Ontario farmers don’t usually irrigate their fields, traditionally drought weather conditions aren’t common.

Kevin MacLean/Farmer:
“This plant it’s nice and green, it’s good and healthy but that’s today. If we have a week, another week of weather like this it’s going to start starving for some water.”

The third generation farmer is already trucking water to his dairy barn — something he doesn’t normally have to do until the end of July.
And his hay situation isn’t much better.

Morganne Campbell:
“This is the first cut of the season. Just to put it into perspective, the MacLean’s need at least three cuts a year in all their hay fields to sustain the entire farm for a year.”

They were hesitant to harvest the field today but were left with not much choice.

Kevin MacLean/Farmer:
“If we don’t cut it the insects will come in because the weevil like hot dry weather, they’ll come in and destroy a crop quite quickly and we’re seeing signs of that right now so we have to go in and cut it but then the sun’s going to burn up the second growth.”

But despite that grim outlook, MacLean is remaining optimistic.

Kevin MacLean/Farmer:
“Mother Nature always compensates and the good lord always sends us rain at some point in time.”

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