Seeding Delays by soggy fields

It’s another case of déja vu all over again.
After last spring’s damp weather delayed the start of the planting season, district farmers were hoping to have a more normal spring.
But so far, that has not been the case.
Once again, the planting season here has gotten off to a slow start because farmers were unable to get heavy equipment into their fields due to the higher-than-normal rainfall.
“Everybody’s pretty ticked off because of the weather,” Kim-Jo Bliss, research technician at the Emo agricultural research station, said Friday.
Bliss said farmers still are waiting for the land to dry out enough to plant beans and oil seeds. And until it does, it will stand idle.
“There’s a lot of land that hasn’t been touched yet,” she noted.
Bliss said some cattle farmers even have delayed putting their animals out to pasture for fear of having them damage the fragile hay crop by pounding the soft ground into mud.
Others already have done so—and the results are quite visible. “Parts of the district look pretty rough,” she admitted.
The only thing that can help now is some dry, sunny days to get things going. “We need some sunshine. That’s all there is to it,” Bliss stressed.
She also noted that although the cool, wet conditions are causing hay to grow quickly, the result is a product that is relatively low in nutritional value even though the yield is high.
Nevertheless, many farmers are coping as best they can until the warmer, drier weather arrives.
Kim Cornell, who runs a beef cattle farm near Devlin, said although parts of his pasture are wet, he still has been able to put his animals out on his neighbour’s property for now.
He said he is not terribly concerned about the long-term prospects for this season because he has seen this all before.
“It’s an inconvenience, but you have to deal with it,” he reasoned. “After all, this is called the Rainy River District, isn’t it?”

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