Crop Yields expected to be lower because of drought

Drought conditions continue to be a problem for Farmers in the BC Peace. Forage yields are predicted to be lower than average in the region and BC Agriculture is expecting over the next week to receive notices of loss for crop insurance claims. Some are expecting an average of 60 per cent of the normal hay crop. The Peace River Forage Association of B.C., supported by the B.C. Ministry of Agriculture and Lands, continues to offer an Internet feed listing service in which producers selling or looking for feed can quickly access the contact information they are seeking. The list can be viewed at www.peaceforage.bc.ca Even if the area receives significant rain the next month, many believe it’s too little too late.

Fort St. John narrowly missed setting its second consecutive daily high temperature record yesterday. According to Environment Canada the maximum recorded at the airport was 31.7 degrees and, the 1945 record for August 7th is 32.8. However, following another high near 30 today, things should begin to cool off during the weekend. In addition there are showers in the forecast, beginningtoday and, extending into next week. That could bring some badly needed drought relief but for grain farmers its already too late.

In the past 33 days, Fort St. John has received only 14.8 millimeters of rain and to date this month, we’ve only had 6.8. It leaves the area so far this summer, with a June-July-August total of only 54.1 millimeters. That’s about 25 percent of the norm, with just over three weeks left in the three month period. It is also only 22 percent of what we received last year for the same period, when we recorded 242 millimeters. There’s even a chance this year’s three month total could be less than the 65.6 millimeters, in the drought year of 2006.

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