Weather now real concern

I guess I will continue to complain about the weather.
I’m actually getting very concerned about it. The weather not only is wreaking havoc on many homes, cabins, and businesses but it is becoming a very serious condition for our farmers.
There currently are a lot of unseeded acres, which means either no grain income or no grain for livestock to eat. And the grain that is planted is showing some severe stress from the wet conditions.
Then a week ago Saturday (June 21), some areas received terrible hail. Here at the Emo Agricultural Research Station, the hail damaged pretty much everything.
The soybeans and alfalfa were stripped to just stems.
It sounds like the soybeans will recover but we will see reduced yield. The alfalfa, on the other hand, causes some bigger concern. As a farmer, if I only had stems to cut and feed my cows, the situation would be very bad.
Our plots look like a head of cattle have ran through them, which make for difficulty harvesting. And as for harvesting (haying), when will our fields allow our equipment to start cutting and baling?
As time goes by, the forage quality decreases—making for poor feed for our animals.
This is the worst I’ve seen as long as I have worked at the station. Yes, we have been flooded out before but the flood came and the weather changed.
This time it’s ongoing and the long-term weather still looks very unstable.
Meanwhile, the nutrients are leaching and farmers cannot afford to re-apply as fertilizer is very expensive.
Despite the fact the grass is growing, cattle don’t do well on years like this since the grass they are eating is so full of water. And the damage your pastures receive from cattle hooves is significant.
Never mind making for great conditions for more and more bugs.
So this weather not only is affecting our neighbours’ homes, cabins, and businesses but it is directly reducing our farm income.
I’m a bit of a worrier and I’m concerned about making hay. I only make dry hay and it would be impossible to have hay dry down right now.
For the most part, you likely would be cutting it into standing water.
I’m certainly hoping that things improve—and sooner rather than later.
• • •
The Rainy River Regional Abattoir Committee hosted its annual meeting last week and I really would like to thank the FEW people who took the time to attend it.
Times are tough with the abattoir, but there are some signs of improvement and growth. I would have thought this meeting and organization would be of more interest to everyone.
As a board member, I find it very frustrating that we continually hear a great deal of “coffee shop talk” but yet when there is a time for everyone to voice their opinions, there are very few people there.
I realize being a part of a board isn’t for everyone but I would hope people appreciate that boards work for the betterment of the entire community and a little support goes along way.
I’m sure if the abattoir doesn’t make it, there will be a lot of opinions then. The abattoir adds value to every farm in our district and it also allows us to grow, share, and eat local food–legally.
• • •
I hope everyone has heard about the inaugural “Harmony of Nations” Music Festival happening July 18-19 in Fort Frances. This looks like it is going to be a great weekend with some awesome music.
For more information, visit www.harmonyofnations.ca
I already have my tickets so I’m hoping that will make the weather turn around and I’ll be wishing I was making hay!

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