Crop profits cut by wet weather

Richard Froese
Spotlight

Wet weather has put a damper on profits for grain crops in the south Peace region.
That will cut into revenues and investments, says Roland Cailliau of Valleyview, vice-chair of Alberta Beef Producers.
“Due to the high cost of putting in and taking off the crop in less-than-ideal conditions, the mediocre yields, and the poorer quality, there won’t be much profit in the grain sector this crop year,” Cailliau says.
“That obviously means less upcoming capital purchases and maybe even a tightening of the belt on inputs for the next crop year.”
Some good weather in early fall helped some farmers.
“We were fortunate in this area that the frost held off until about mid September allowing for a reasonable crop,” Cailliau says.
Most crops in the Peace Country were off by the end of October as farmers worked in tough-to-damp conditions.
“The eastern Peace seems to have fared poorly compared to the west Peace,” Cailliau says.
“Overall in the southeast Peace, crops yielded less than the previous few years, but close to the long-term average.”
Seeding got off to a slow start in a soggy spring.
“Some more substantial rains in May delayed seeding well into June,” Cailliau says.
“The later the crop is seeded in June, the greater the risk of a fall frost that will affect quantity and quality.”
Hay crops produced good harvests, he says.
“We had great growing conditions, some somewhat tough harvest conditions, with the overall quality being average,” Cailliau says.
“Individual farms varied greatly for both production volumes and quality, in both the Peace and across the province.”
The deep south of Alberta had again on average, good quality and despite the lack of moisture, probably average yields, he says.
For cattle producers, severe weather at calving time caused substantial losses for some ranchers this spring.
“Calf prices this fall are a solid number that we can work with to allow ourselves some profit, not the stellar prices of a few years ago but respectable,” Cailliau says.

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