Manitoba farmers' veggie harvest jeopardized by flooded fields
Farmers worried fate of farms uncertain if second outlet on Lake Manitoba not developed soon
Manitoba vegetable farmers are concerned this year’s yields will be lower than planned as flood waters have submerged large swaths of farmland.
Farmer Astrid Itzke-Meilleur said after a surge of water from the Assiniboine River a few weeks ago, she has lost upwards of 130 hectares of land to flooding.
Everything from celery and broccoli to cabbage on Itzke-Meilleur’s property has been drowned from flood waters.
We can't continue operating with the water coming this high every year- Astrid Itzke-Meilleur
“Oh it was awful,” said Itzke-Meilleur. “For a week I was a wreck.”
Not far from Itzke-Meilleur’s farm, Cam Stewart’s soy beans, wheat and canola have felt the brunt of the flood.
After losing an estimated 120 hectares this year, Stewart is frustrated and wants another outlet on Lake Manitoba that would help keep water levels in check on the Assiniboine River.
“Until they do something with the Lake Manitoba, and they are able to drain it properly and put the water up there, we are going to be in this situation any time that the river gets higher,” said Stewart.
Recently the province confirmed a second outlet on Lake Manitoba is in the works, but also said it could still be at least seven years away from completion.
Itzke-Meilleur said there needs to be a plan in place soon or else her farm and others like it risk becoming more and more unsustainable.
“We can't continue operating with the water coming this high every year,” said Itzke-Meilleur