Peace River region farmers still battling harvest while seeding window closes

Every year there is a hot spot of adversity for farmers, where it feels like Mother Nature does not cooperate and farmers must adjust and shift their agronomic strategies daily. In 2020, the winner of the awful adversity prize seems to be the Peace River region of Alberta. A late harvest in 2019 that is still not complete in June, and untimely rains preventing seeding progress has many in the region very frustrated, angry, and tired.

As of May 26th the Peace was 47 per cent complete seeding while Alberta as a whole was 79.6 per cent completed. The five-year average for the Peace River region on May 26th is 73 per cent.

On the June 4th episode of RealAg Radio, Jesse Meyer laid out the severity of the situation he and his neighbours are facing. Meyer summed up the challenges: “It has been a very challenging spring, we are being pushed to the limit and to be honest this is one of the most frustrating springs ever in the Peace. You can only push so hard against the clock because we keep running out of dry ground to seed.”

As some producers are calling in custom combiners to get the job finished in between the rains, others are resorting to just working crop under to move onto seeding.

In terms of the seeding window that is left Meyer says, “We don’t like seeding much in June due to the season length and there is still plenty of canola to go in. We will keep pushing for a few more days with the forecast not looking good. If we get more rainfall on the weekend, seeding may be complete and we will see unseeded acres unfortunately.”

Meyer is 70 per cent complete seeding, which is behind normal but he does state that the conditions are quite localized, as some areas are further along with combining last year’s crop and seeding the 2020 crop.

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