After a tough conclusion to 2016 and a rough start to 2017, Peace Region farmers have recovered for the most part.
Pea crops are thriving, canola crops have thickened nicely and are flowering well, and many ranchers already have their hay cut and baled.
However, there are always problems for some farmers.
“One thing we did have was some hail activity up around the La Glace area. That definitely was not a positive event for some of our crops there. They’re not necessarily a total loss, at least the people that I’ve been talking to. But it’s definitely going to have significant impact on the yield,” said Sonja Raven, Agricultural Fieldman for the County of Grande Prairie.
Raven says some areas have had issues with grasshoppers, but it’s nothing that is out of control.
“I’m not saying we’re at a full outbreak, but there’s some guys that have been having to take some control measures there. And of course, because the crops are doing well, that means the weeds are doing wonderfully. We’ve got a lot of mayweed; white cockle has really come on strong this year.”
One challenge the County has faced is some people not fully understanding that, under the Weed Control Act, their inspectors can enter onto their property.
“They don’t need an invitation and they don’t need agreement. So, we’ve been having to explain that a little more this year,” explained Raven. “We make every effort to speak with the people, especially if they’re home. We certainly don’t spend more time on anyone’s property than we need to.”
Raven adds wildfire smoke hasn’t had any adverse affect on crops and that it’s too early to guess when combining will begin.