Boost in mois­ture gives pro­duc­ers con­fi­dence

The Drumheller Mail - - REAL ESTATE - Pa­trick Ko­lafa The Drumheller Mail Al Hamp­ton mailphoto by Pa­trick Ko­lafa

While rain keeps fall­ing, farm­ers ap­pear to be op­ti­mistic about the po­ten­tial for crops this sea­son.

While last year’s dry con­di­tions threat­ened crops in the field early in the sea­son, a se­ries of early July rain show­ers have boosted some con­fi­dence. As Al Hamp­ton, Agri­cul­tural Field­man for Star­land County points out, the show­ers have been lo­cal­ized.

“Around Drumheller it is ex­tremely wet. From Drumheller to Ver­dant Val­ley, and Delia and Craigmyle, that is where there has been re­ally heavy rain, but the rest of the county has also re­ceived some rain,” said Hamp­ton. “The bulk of Star­land is in re­ally good shape.”

While the rain is wel­come for many, for those try­ing to put up a lit­tle bit of feed with their first cut, that might be stalled.

The only guys who aren’t happy at this point are guys who are try­ing to hay,” said Hamp­ton. “It’s wet and it is not dry­ing very well, and there is a lit­tle bit that has been cut and the qual­ity has been de­te­ri­o­rat­ing as it hasn’t been baled up.”

While he has heard there has been about 1,900 hail claims prov­ince wide, but not in Star­land.

“We have had a lit­tle bit of hail, but noth­ing I would put a claim in on. The hail has caused a lit­tle bit of bruis­ing. West of me for about four or five miles there was a strip that took a pretty good beat­ing but the crop was early enough that it will prob­a­bly re­cover, but it is set back a lit­tle,” said Hamp­ton.

Rus­sel Muenchrath, Agri­cul­tural Field­man for Wheat­land County agrees that con­di­tions so far are fa­vor­able for a strong crop come fall, how­ever there has been some lo­cal­ized hail dam­age.

“In Rock­y­ford last Mon­day we had some hail. The storms have been spo­radic. It is hit and miss, some ar­eas have been hit pretty badly and some haven’t got­ten as much. The same as with the rain,” said Muenchrath. “With some of the cereal crops the heads were just com­ing out, so I imag­ine some of those emerg­ing heads got knocked off, so they might not be as good.”

With damp weather how­ever comes the risk of dis­ease.

“Any time there is in­creased mois­ture, there is in­creased risk of prob­lems with dis­ease. There have been a few in­sect prob­lems like with cab­bage seed­pod wee­vil,” he said. “The hail con­tin­ues to be a risk as we go on into the sea­son, and with the on­go­ing rain, it could cause some pond­ing in ar­eas which causes trou­ble with some crops.”

On the whole though com­pared to last year the grains are look­ing pretty good,” said Muenchrath. Hamp­ton has a sim­i­lar out­look.

“I would say po­ten­tially it is shap­ing up to be a good year in the area,” said Hamp­ton.

From Drumheller to Ver­dant Val­ley, and Delia and Craigmyle, that is where there has been re­ally heavy rain. The bulk of Star­land is in re­ally good shape.”

The ma­jor­ity of crops in the Drumheller area are in good shape fol­low­ing the re­cent un­sta­ble weather pat­terns.

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