By Mo Cranker
Alberta Newspaper Group
This summer is shaping up to be the best in recent memory for local farmers.
The combination of rain and sunshine have given farmers a much better hand to work with in the past few months. Nichole Neubauer of Neubauer Farms s thankful for the good weather conditions so far.
“It is a huge improvement over the last three years,” she said. “We haven’t had an incredible volume of rain, but we have had really timely rain.
“The rain we had in May served to get the crop germinated. It allowed the crops to grow evenly.
“We’ve had more rains that have further supported the additional growth and development of the plants.”
The Neubauers grow oilseed, pulses, grains and forage crops on their farm in Cypress County. The family also raises cattle. Neubauer says the crops are way ahead of previous summers’ crops.
“This isn’t enough to get us through summer, but it’s a good start and we’re optimistic,” she said. “As farmers, we do what we can to manage to wildcards. We fertilize. We choose species of plants that are conducive to growing in our climate.
“We at this point in time we need a good amount of sunlight and we need to keep getting timely rain. We just need it at the right time.”
Steve Miller of Erwin Schlenker Farms echoed Neubauer’s thoughts on the year so far.
“The rain brightens everyone’s spirits when preparing for harvest,” he said. “We’re getting rains this year and our crops are finally growing, unlike the last few years.
“The crops are looking real nice so far.”
Miller says farmers would love a bit of rain every week, but know that’s impossible to expect.
“We need more rain, but we’ll take what we have for now,” he said. “You can never expect perfect, but you can always hope for the best.”