Canada - Rainy, cool weather has been bad for Nova Scotia farmers

23.05.2019 192 views

Crops delayed getting in the ground, or growing slowly, greenhouses also affected

“You’ve seen the weather, you physically just can’t drive (farm equipment) on the ground.” - Philip Keddy, Charles Keddy farms. The weather has been pretty miserable for anyone who has taken time off in the past couple of weeks. But it’s particularly bad for the people who never take vacation at this time of year: farmers. The lack of sun and warmth and the excess of rain is causing havoc for farmers who need to get crops in the ground as well as those who have already sown the fields. Some say the weather has set them back up to four weeks. Philip Keddy, of Charles Keddy Farms in Kings County, who is also president of Horticulture Nova Scotia, said he has two or three days left to get strawberry plants in the ground for them to be ready to be dug up and shipped to Florida on Sept. 20. “Normally we’d be done two weeks ago,” he said.
“I don’t have time to wait. They have to grow every single day until they’re harvested,” he said Tuesday. “Every day like today I’m losing yield. I have a window (for harvesting to ship south) that I have to follow no matter what.”
He said many farmers he has talked to have similar stories of delays. “Everything is definitely running two-to-three weeks behind,” Keddy said. “You’ve seen the weather, you physically just can’t drive (farm equipment) on the ground.” He said he harrowed a piece of land Saturday night until 11 p.m. to get it ready for planting the next day, “and by Sunday night when they were finishing, it was raining again. We’re just getting these short little windows of opportunity.”

Compound problems

Getting out on the fields depends on the type of soil being farmed. Sandy soil will dry out and drain faster than soil in other areas, he said, meaning the end of precipitation is still followed by two to five days of not being able to put the machinery in the fields depending on how much rain has fallen. Working heavy farm equipment in the fields when they’re wet means compacted soil, which lets rain run off instead of soaking in for the rest of the year. Or, it could change the lay of the land and cause waterlogged areas where water can’t drain off. “You’re creating problems that you have to deal with for the rest of the year,” Keddy said. He said there were a couple of half decent weeks rain-wise that allowed a lot of the onions, carrots and potatoes to get planted, but those things that need warm soil — such as corn, soybeans, and transplanted vegetables — are behind. “My (sweet) potatoes are going to get cut in the U.S. next week, and I haven’t even touched a field to make a hill because it’s just too wet. We’re just all pushed against the timelines because there’s not enough good days in a row.” But even if the rain stops and the ground dries, farmers still need some heat, Keddy said. Farmers may have a lot of their crop in, “but it has hardly grown a bit in the past three weeks because the soil temperature has been so cold since back in April,” Keddy said. “People are planting stuff, but nothing is growing at the speed that it should because the soil is so wet and cold.” He said onion and potato farmers are losing yield because they can’t extend their season in the fall without risking frost damage. “Every day now that it’s cold, wet and crummy, they’re losing yield.” Even greenhouse operations are feeling the pinch. While they don’t worry about the rain, the lack of sunshine is becoming an issue. “A one per-cent loss in light is a one per-cent loss in yield,” said Luke den Haan of den Haan Greenhouses in Annapolis County. He said there hasn’t been enough light over the past few weeks. “The only thing we can’t control is the light levels,” den Haan said. Every week that there isn’t enough light “we lose yield and we don’t get it back,” he said. “You just don’t get the production or the kilos.” The greenhouses produce tomatoes and English cucumbers, but lack of light creates peaks and valleys in production, which affects how much they can ship out to customers. Den Haan said the greenhouse can maintain its production level when it receives 1,000 joules of light a day, and gets 3,000 on a bright sunny day. On days like Tuesday, May 21, only about 200-300 joules reach the plants. Source - https://www.thechronicleherald.ca/
09.12.2022

USA - Smallest Washington apple crop in more than 20 years

Washington, the US’ largest apple growing state, is seeing a significantly reduced crop this year and supplies are very tight as a result. “The conventional crop is down 15 to 25 percent on a year-over-year basis,” says Dan Davis with Starr Ranch Growers.

09.12.2022

Australia - Murray River flooding persists with grape, citrus growers facing uncertainty over harvest

Three quarters of Roberto Fuoco's table grape property in north-west Victoria is underwater and more rain is expected in the coming days. The harvest at his Nichols Point property would usually begin in February, but at this stage it's unclear if any of his fruit could be picked. 

09.12.2022

USA - Dry conditions easing in most of CT, but parts of state to remain under alert

Connecticut is slowly emerging from the months-long drought that strained crops and water resources this summer, officials said Thursday, while warning that many reservoirs still remain lower than normal for this time of year. 

09.12.2022

Pakistan - Floods damage crops on 4.6m acres land in Sindh

Advisor to Chief Minister Sindh on Agriculture Manzoor Hussain Wassan on Thursday said the monsoon rains and ensuing floods devastated 4.6 million acres of agricultural land in the province.

09.12.2022

USA - Winter wheat crop in trouble

The U.S. winter wheat crop is in terrible shape as 2022 draws to a close, but that is not necessarily a precursor of what’s to come in 2023, says an analyst. An estimated 34 percent of the crop was rated good to excellent as of Nov. 29, down from 44 percent the same time one year ago.

09.12.2022

By the numbers: the state of the world’s soil in 2022

For this year’s world soil day, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) reminded us that 95% of the food we eat comes directly or indirectly from our soils. In other words, ultra-processed alt meats made with pea protein need the soil’s nutrients as much as a head of lettuce does.

09.12.2022

Indonesia - KSP underlines potential for El Nino-linked crop failure in 2023

Chief of the Presidential Staff (KSP), Moeldoko, on Friday underlined the possibility of El Nino's return in 2023, which could trigger fires and crop failures. "The risks can lead to fires and crop failures," he said while attending a cheap food bazaar at Pendopo Kepatihan in Ngawi, East Java.

08.12.2022

Moldova - Drought resulted in 40% less yield of apples overall

According to the customs service of Moldova, about 7 000 tonnes of apples were exported from the country in November 2022. This is the lowest volume of November exports over the past five years. In 2020 the export volume was almost 8 000 tonnes.