PEI

Lack of rain has farmers 'a bit anxious' after weeks of hot sunny days

As beach goers are enjoying weeks of hot sunny days, farmers are starting to feel a bit nervous about the lack of rain. 

'It needs another shot of rain soon'

The soil is dry and potato plants are starting to droop a bit due to lack of rain. (Rick Gibbs/CBC )

As beach goers are enjoying weeks of hot sunny days, farmers are starting to feel a bit nervous about the lack of rain. 

"The ground is almost powder dry right now, " said Jason Hayden, chair of the P.E.I. Potato Board.

"It needs another shot of rain soon." 

Hayden said some potato fields are beginning to show a bit of stress from the hot temperatures and windy days. 

"We are well overdue for a good shower of rain," he said. "A nice daylong gentle rain would be ideal."

'I'm going to say that we're still OK, at least most parts of the Island,' says David Mol, president of the P.E.I. Federation of Agriculture. (Laura Meader/CBC)

Still optimistic

David Mol, a grain farmer and president of the P.E.I. Federation of Agriculture, said it's not as dry as last summer so he's trying to remain optimistic for now. 

He said the hot weather has allowed many farmers to catch up after a colder spring, but now they are keeping a close eye on the sky hoping for rain. 

David Mol says the forecast doesn't show much moisture in the next couple of weeks. (Laura Meader/CBC)

"It's made us a bit anxious," said Mol. "I'm going to say that we're still OK, at least most parts of the Island." 

Mol said at the same time he worries drought is just around the corner. 

He said crops like soybeans, grain crops, corn and potatoes will suffer if precipitation doesn't come. 

Soil is cracking in this wheat field in the Charlottetown area. (Laura Meader/CBC)

"Especially if we get a lot of wind during the day, in a week's time we're going to start to see some wilting," he said. 

He said the cooler nights and heavy dew are helping for now. 

Risk of lower yields

Hayden said the potato yield across P.E.I. has been down for the last two years. 

"I suppose the same thing would happen again this year, if rain doesn't show up here in August." 

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