'Rollercoaster' weather takes Manitoba farmers for a ride
Winnipeg sees about half the normal rainfall for month of July, early August
Manitoba moisture has been lurching from one extreme to the other this year.
Doug Chorney, president of Keystone Agricultural Producers, the largest farm lobby group in the province, said in the spring the fields were sopping wet and now it's so dry some producers are worried about what will happen to their late-seeded crops.
"So it does create the worst of both conditions."
Environment Canada confirmed that in the last 40 days, southern Manitoba has had less than half of its normal precipitation.
Edgar Schuerer, who farms near Dugald, said the growing season’s weather has been "a rollercoaster." Thirty per cent of his crop was underwater during Canada Day long weekend flooding, and 20 per cent was a total loss.
“If we don’t get raid in the next couple weeks, the yields will be impacted,” he said. “This has been a crazy year.”
The drier weather in July and August has been welcome to salvage the remaining crop, but his soy beans now need rain in the coming weeks or the yield will be impacted.
“It's difficult. I mean, last year was the best year we've ever had. The year before was fine too, but in the last 10 years, yeah, it's been a rollercoaster,” he said.
Winnipeg sees dry July
Winnipeg, too, has been drier than normal lately.
CBC Meteorologist John Sauder said Winnipeg has received about 44 millimetres of rain since July 1. Normally, the city sees about 98 mm in that time.
“Since the beginning of July, we have had a below normal number of days with a measurable rainfall,” said Sauder.
The Forks Riverwalk is finally above water, and crews are busy preparing it for foot traffic.
“We know tens of thousands of people use it over a week in the summer,” said The Forks CEO Paul Jordan. “Our door counts definitely go down when the Riverwalk is not in operation.”