RIMOUSKI – The significant lack of rainfall cause a lot of headaches to agricultural producers and market gardeners in the Bas-Saint-Laurent.
Several farmers say they have rarely seen drought conditions as early in the season. The summer is not yet officially arrived.
According to Environment Canada, spring was much drier than normal. In the area of Rimouski and Mont-Joli, it fell for 44.4 millimetres of rain in may, while on average, the area receives 82 millimetres of rainfall. For the month of June, it fell 17 millimeters of rain only up to now.
The lack of precipitation in sufficient quantity complicates the work of the gardeners, which must respond to the request of baskets of vegetables, which is important this year.
“Normally, it is possible to sow carrots and anticipate the rain to make the seedlings and it will rise normally,” explained the co-owner of the Farm of the Green Sheep, St-Valérien, near Rimouski.
“There, we made off and if I don’t put liquid and spray, there is nothing that germ, he said. The soil is dry and the seed remains dormant. As soon as I make a seedling, if I want to follow my calendar, I need to install sprinklers.”
With the last of the very dry summers, the farm has decided to install another well in order to ensure sufficient water for the crops of the vegetables.
Difficult Situation for the hay
The situation is also difficult for the hay used to feed the cattle of the dairy farmers. Some of them note yield drops to 50 % during their first mowing.
The soils are very dry. “There is even no water in the rivers, in the gutters,” said Roger Fournier of the Farm Ronier, to Saint-Anaclet.
“The earth is really dry, he added. The last sowing of the spring, the roots are not enough in length. They lack water.”
Environment Canada does not anticipate any precipitation noticeable in the next ten days. The summers of 2017 and 2018 have been somewhat difficult for the agricultural producers in the Bas-Saint-Laurent due to episodes of drought.