Farmers get good growing season
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.”