Snowfall warning not welcome news for farmers

Fields near Fort St. John prior to last weekend's snowfall. Photo by Chris Newton

FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – As northeastern B.C. braces for the first major snowfall of the 2016-2017 fall and winter seasons, farmers are busy ensuring that they finish harvesting as much of their more fragile crops as possible.

Speaking from his Fort St. John office, Viterra’s branch Customer Service manager Kelly Kassian says that any amounts of wet snowfall will have a negative impact on any standing crops left in the fields in the Peace. He said that the past several days have provided excellent harvesting conditions with the drier weather allowing many farmers to harvest through the overnight hours. Kassian added that roughly 80 percent of this year’s crop has been harvested, with mainly canola left on the fields. He explained that canola is by far the least sensitive of crops in the Peace region to moisture and precipitation.

However, Kassian added that this year’s crop is shaping up to be less than stellar, with reports of sprouting issues, and mildew on the grain which can prove problematic when it comes to finding a market for it.