FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – There’s still a long way to go before they’ve successfully completed harvest operations, but as things stand right now, local area farmers have reason to entertain thoughts of a celebratory October 10th Thanksgiving Day.
That noted, we had our latest crop condition chat this week, with Richard Pioneer’s, Kelly Kassian.
As reported earlier, following a slow start this year, with three of the first four months posting precipitation totals of 15 mm or less, May and June resulted in a major turnaround, with well above average amounts, of 63.3 mm millimetres, and then 87.6.
That left the six month total at the local airport weather station at 233.4 mm, or 41.8 above the norm of 191.6.
It should be noted however, that surplus could disappear in a hurry, and we’re only one year removed from the recorded evidence of that.
The 2015 total for July—the wettest month of the year in this area—was about 50 mm below average, at 25.8, and this year’s total for the first twelve days of the month was less than that, at 21.6.
However, the good news is, even with just that amount, the airport station is well ahead of last year’s pace, when only 2.8 mm were posted in the first fifteen days of the month.
Add to that, this is also the time of the year, when below normal precipitation amounts can disappear in one day, like 41 years ago tomorrow.
On July 14th of 1975, the airport station posted 59.7 mm, but the problem for farmers and ranchers is the lack of predictability associated with these events, good and bad.
Thus, despite all our information age advancements, there’s still no computer program to successfully deal with the multitude of crop threats from weather, diseases, or insects, and thus from spring seeding to fall harvest, farmers must watch, wait, hope and pray that Devine Intervention will trump such things as hail, frost, wild fires, heat stress, wheat rust, and arguably the Canola crop grower’s, public enemy number one, the Bertha Armyworm.