Farm­ers get jump on grow­ing sea­son

The Drumheller Mail - - FRONT PAGE - Pa­trick Ko­lafa

For most farm­ers, the crops are in and it is look­ing like a great start of the year.

The Mail checked in with lo­cal Agri­cul­tural Ser­vice Boards and so far, they like what they are see­ing.

“The grow­ing sea­son up to this point has been pretty nice, the crops have ger­mi­nated evenly and the amount of ma­te­rial there is pretty im­pres­sive,” said Star­land Ag Field­man Al Hamp­ton. “In gen­eral terms, at least in Star- land County, a pretty good crop is on its way. East of High­way 56 is a lit­tle fur­ther ad­vanced and maybe a lit­tle bet­ter crop at this point, but in gen­eral terms ev­ery­one is pretty happy.”

He adds that it looks like there is go­ing to be a good yield on hay.

Knee­hill County As­sis­tant Ag Field­man Fal­lon Sher­lock says, it looks like crops are pro­gress­ing well in her area, although some were still deal­ing with last fall’s strug­gles. “From ev-

ery­thing I have seen, ev­ery­one got their seed­ing in, it was a lit­tle bit of a late start as a few still had crops in the field and had to deal with the ex­cess lit­ter be­cause they didn’t get to bale, or crops were too heav­ily lodged to ac­tu­ally take off,” she said.

“But as far as ev­ery­one I talked to, they had a fairly good seed­ing and pretty much ev­ery­one is done spray­ing. The wind and the rain did de­lay spray­ing a bit.”

She said the next chal­lenge would be hay­ing. “Whether or not we can start tak­ing that hay crop off and hope­fully get­ting that first cut, get­ting it to dry and not hav­ing the winds in­ter­fere,” she said.

Ac­cord­ing to the Al­berta Crop re­port, so far, in the cen­tral re­gion, 80.7 per cent of crops are be­ing re­ported as in good or ex­cel­lent con­di­tion, and 70.2 per cent of sur­face soil mois­ture is rated at good or ex­cel­lent.

Hamp­ton said there are al­ways con­cerns. “One thing I have heard is that with the amount of canopy with the crops, guys are a lit­tle con­cerned about it get­ting too dry in a hurry be­cause we have gone through a lot of wa­ter. That is a con­cern, but I don’t think any­thing is un­der threat at this point,” said Hamp­ton.

He adds the hu­mid­ity could also be con­cern­ing as it could lead to hail­storms.

“Most crops are about as lush and thick as I have seen them, so far so good, but we have a long way to go ob­vi­ously,” said Hamp­ton.

mailphoto by Terri Hux­ley

So far it has been a fairly suc­cess­ful spring for most farm­ers with the ma­jor­ity of the crops in the area rat­ing ei­ther good or ex­cel­lent.

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