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An 'average' season for farmers on Prince Edward Island

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Fall harvests were slowed by heavy rains in Prince Edward Island. (Archive photo)

  • Laurent Rigaux (View profile)Laurent Rigaux

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Prince Edward Island farmers have experienced difficult weather conditions this season, with too much precipitation slowing down some of the fall harvest.

It was certainly difficult, especially during the harvest, because we had so much rain, confirms Julie Arsenault of Fermes Urbainville, in the Évangéline region.

She mainly grows potatoes, but also corn, soybeans, peas, barley and wheat.

For soybeans, the ground was so wet that the machinery had difficulty passing through the gardens. We have also seen a bit of difficulty on the potato side where many of the potatoes are actually hollow in the middle, due to the amount of rain we have seen during the season, explains the farmer.

Despite the challenges, she describes the harvest as average: It's been difficult. But still, it's almost a success.

For Neil Campbell, general manager of the PEI Grain Elevators Corporation, the season is uneven, depending on culture and location.

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He describes good amounts of grain in places and very bad elsewhere. We have had variability in everything that happens to us this year, he explains.

According to him, the bad weather slowed down the harvest Corn: There was still about 20% corn left in the ground as of December 1.

The humidity of the grains is also such that farmers must burn more propane to dry them, which will have an impact on the economic yield of the harvest.

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Julie Arseneault, from Fermes Urbainville in the Évangéline region, says that the 2023 season is “not a disaster”, but not exceptional either .

Alan Miller, meanwhile, farms about 400 acres of grain and soybeans in Elmwood. A delay in sowing as well as the weather conditions this fall delayed its harvest.

November was a really scary month. I have never harvested soybeans in November in my life, he laments.

We can't four or five sunny days, which is exactly what we need right now. The harvest is very, very slow for soybeans, continues the farmer.

While in a typical year, 95% of its soybean harvest is harvested by Halloween, this year it is only x27;at 50% at the beginning of December.

In Urbainville, Julie Arsenault had to leave 200 acres of wheat and the entire pea harvest in the ground due to humidity.

It's been so wet that the peas have actually sprouted in the garden. Impossible to harvest them, she says.

The farmer still wants to be confident about the results of the year , despite the vagaries of the weather and after drier years. We expect a not exceptional season, but not a disaster. A little in the middle. We can certainly accept that.

With information fromCBC. em>

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