Published on: 10:37AM Aug 02, 2010
Last week I left the flooded banks of the Mississippi River to fly to Western Canada and spent several days touring farm fields around Yorkton and Norquay, Saskatchewan. Except for standing in bright yellow canola and waving wheat fields, it felt like I was talking to farmers back home.
"This is one of the wettest springs we’ve ever seen," says Greg Hudye, who farms with his brother Ben in Norquay. "About 20% of the fields around here didn’t get planted. It just kept raining."
Indeed, heavy spring and summer rainfalls and flooding left 12 million prairie acres unseeded this spring and prompted the federal government and provinces of Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba to announce substantial relief aid for farmers dealing with income and production losses.
On the bright side, producers who planted on those moisture-laden fields are seeing the potential for record yields, according to crop analysts at the field days I attended. The Hudyes are hoping for 80-bu. wheat yields on their best fields.