Timely rains keeping area farmers optimistic through summer

By the Canadian Press

As the summer flies by and harvest approaches, farmers in the area are staying cautiously optimistic about this year’s bounty.

Nichole Neubauer of Neubauer Farms says timely rain and good weather have kept crops in good shape so far.

“On the farming front, we’ve been really thankful to see the rains return,” she said. “They’ve been very welcomed because of the drought we had previously.

“I’ve been doing crop surveying and things are looking pretty good overall – definitely a lot better than in previous years.”

Neubauer added that her family’s farm has been lucky to avoid hail damage this year.

“I know there’s been some in the area, but we’ve been lucky,” she said. “Hail will really set things back or even destroy a crop and not make it available for harvest.

“Mother Nature gives, but she takes away, too.”

While many Hatters may be complaining about the rain this summer, Neubauer says more timely rain will be welcomed by area farmers.

“Because we’ve been so dry, we could still use more rain to replenish the subsoil moisture,” she said. “On the other side of that, I know there’s a lot of farmers trying to make hay right now for cattle and livestock during the winter.

“If we get rain when the hay is down, it can spoil and the quality is diminished.

“If we can just keep the wind away, that would help us, but I do feel like we’re in good shape on our farm.”

Neubauer says her farm is set to produce a crop. This year’s harvest will be pushed back a bit thanks to the rain.

“Our lentil crop and wheat crop will be right around the end of August,” she said. “Canola needs a bit more time, so it will be around the second or third week of September.

“We play it by ear and harvest whenever it is most optimal.”

By Mo Cranker, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter/Medicine Hat News

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