Snowfall delays season start for Peace Region farmers

A snow-covered crop field near Fort St. John. Photo by Chris Newton

FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – Easter’s snowfall could cause some difficulties for farmers in the Peace Region, who are in the process of getting things ready for the upcoming growing season.

Kelly Kassian with Viterra in Fort St. John says that while conditions are nearly the opposite to those seen in the region one year ago, the snow and rain is causing delays for farmers that were hoping to finish harvesting some of last season’s crops before planting this year’s. “Last year we started seeding on April 20th, and this year as you can see outside that’s just not going to happen,” said Kassian. “Depending on the forecast, we’re going to be into the beginning of May and we have all this spring fresh combining to do. Seeding its got to dry up. It’s definitely going to be a spring rush, that’s for sure.”

Kassian said that had the snow not fallen over the weekend, a number of farmers would have been out working fields harvesting last year’s crops that weren’t able to be harvested before the early dump of snow on September 30th.

Kassian added that though this season may start late, it’s not exceptionally late. “We’ve had this before, its just the last few years its been fairly early,” he said. “As long as we don’t get any more, and heaven forbid we get a May long weekend snowstorm.”