Farm­ers get good grow­ing sea­son

Stanstead Journal - - TOWNSHIP'S TAGRICULTURE -

Vic­to­ria Vanier

Our hot and dry sum­mer proved to be fa­vor­able for lo­cal farm­ers. Ac­cord­ing to spokesper­son Wen­dell Con­ner, it was a good grow­ing sea­son which pro­duced a good qual­ity and abun­dant first cut of hay and a smaller sec­ond cut of good qual­ity. “The farm­ers had good weather to cut their hay this year,” he said. “The qual­ity of the hay af­fects how the cat­tle do: they gain bet­ter and have bet­ter over­all health. They don’t thrive on poor qual­ity hay.” The corn har­vest is good with farm­ers out har­vest­ing the crop a lit­tle ear­lier than usual.

The price for calves was good at the first few lo­cal sales of the sea­son. How­ever, be­cause of the se­vere drought that hit ar­eas of On­tario and the United States dur­ing the sum­mer, a lot of beef cat­tle may be hit­ting the mar­ket soon in those ar­eas, driv­ing prices down. “The auc­tion­eer at the mar­ket said we shouldn’t wait too long be­fore bring­ing our calves to the mar­ket,” men­tioned Mr. Con­ner. Last year, lo­cal beef prices at the auc­tions had fi­nally re­turned to the prices be­fore the Bovine Spongi­form En­cephalopa­thy (BSE) out­break in 2003. “It’s too bad if the drought af­fects prices. Farm­ers need more than one good year in a row.”

Many farm­ers in the area were short of wa­ter over the sum­mer, hav­ing to work ‘dou­ble-time’ to keep Good weather to cut hay means good sea­son their an­i­mals from go­ing thirsty. “Many of my neigh­bours had to haul wa­ter for their an­i­mals. Sur­face wells, springs and creeks that had never dried up be­fore went dry. Some farm­ers had to jug­gle the cat­tle around on their prop­erty to ac­cess wa­ter. It was about as dry a sum­mer as I’ve ever re­mem­bered,” com­mented Mr. Con­ner who has been run­ning a beef farm for sev­eral decades in Hat­ley Town­ship. “We’ve fi­nally got some rain so that should be good. It’s al­ways a prob­lem for farm­ers if we start the win­ter with low wa­ter sup­plies.”

Photo Vic­to­ria Vanier

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