Alberta snow bad news for farm crops ahead of harvest
Grain farmers near Calgary say harvesting damaged crops will take longer
The snowstorm that blanketed southern Alberta over the last days has flattened crops just as farmers were getting ready to harvest them.
Ken Friesz, who farms about 2,000 hectares near Indus east of Calgary, says his wheat and barley are flat on the ground and the canola isn't much better.
He estimates harvesting will take almost twice as long as normal.
“Now your combines are going to be moving considerably slower, you're going to have to go down in the dirt almost and dig the crop up to try and get what you can,” he said.
It's the same story for Matt Sawyer north of Calgary near Acme. He says the only hope for salvaging the harvest is a quick return to warmer weather.
“We need a good long run now, the time is ticking away and as you know, the days are getting shorter so we hope that this turns around,” he said.
Sawyer said the snow is sure to affect his bottom line.
“The loss of quality of the wheat can be a huge hit. The other thing is then by taking longer to harvest, you're paying guys more days, you're going to burn up considerably more fuel,” he said.