According to a recent report, this is the driest spring we’ve had on the Alberta prairies in 68 years, and it’s not unique to Alberta. Our next door provincial neighbours in British Columbia and Saskatchewan, and even our neighbours below in the northwestern states, are suffering with this drought too. We’ve been in a heat wave with >30ºC temperatures off and on for weeks now with not a lot of moisture since the beginning of April.
It’s really depressing to see a year’s worth of planning just baking away in the field, losing your yield and losing your profit every day. My farmer guarantees if they hadn’t been using some of the best technology available like zero-till and leaving stubble — there wouldn’t be a crop out there at all. If we farmed like we did 20 years ago, nothing would germinate.
So, trying not to worry about our crops more than we are, a little humour to lighten the mood…
1. Obsessively check your satellite weather app on your smart phone.
— Trevor Scherman (@growharder) June 29, 2015
2. You want to leave the farm for the rest of the growing season so you don’t have to watch your crops die.
— Brock Minogue (@SkylineAcres) June 29, 2015
3. Scout your fields with your eyes closed so you don’t have to see crop conditions.
— Debra (@AgDebra) July 9, 2015
4. Think of cutting what’s left of your crop for silage — salvage mode!
I hope it gets tall enough to feed into the silage cutter…I guess I could swath it. #drought15 talk already from a grower. Hurry up rain!
— Jay Culver (@jayculver1) April 15, 2015
5. Keep checking the rain gauge every morning to see if there was an unexpected rain.
— Terry James (@lavoyfarmer) June 26, 2015
6. Dig holes up to 4 feet deep looking for moisture.
— Brett McBride (@DirtFarmerMcB) June 15, 2015
7. You keep telling yourself “it’s just a little dry…it’s still good! It’s still good!“
Remember that year we grew a crop on 4/10's of an inch of rain? Ya, me neither. #drought15
— Randal Huseby (@peelw8) June 28, 2015
8. You’d take hail at this point.
— Ernie peters (@Petersernie) July 9, 2015
9. Your fungicide bill is nonexistent.
If your hoping for hail, your fungicide decision is obvious. #drought15
— Randal Huseby (@peelw8) July 3, 2015
10. If you could sit down with the weatherman, the conversation would go like this. “Just find me some clouds!“
11. Understand that Environment Canada keeps a bit of rain in the forecast to keep farmers from rioting.
12. You become superstitious and will try anything to make it rain!
— adrienne ivey (@adrienneivey) June 29, 2015
13. Cut your hay and hope that it rains because your crops need it more.
— Jill Burkhardt (@Crookedlakecows) June 29, 2015
14. Join a Twitter support group #drought15 #justrain
— brian (@bricoinc) July 9, 2015
— Michael #farmer (@michwoll) June 29, 2015
— Landon Olsen (@MileWestLandon) June 28, 2015
— Derek McBain (@derekmcbain) June 13, 2015
Are there any signs you’d add to the list?