The lack of rain during this year’s growing season will have farms facing financial hardship.
That’s according to Farm Credit Canada, who are offering support to farmers in the Maritimes and Eastern Quebec because of the dry season.
They say farmers in these regions will be looking at either substantially reduced revenue, or increased costs due to a rise in feed purchases, which will lead to cash flow and working capital shortages.
Those hardest hit in the Maritime provinces are forage, blueberry, potato, dairy, and beef producers.
Victor Oulton is the president of the Nova Scotia Federation of Agriculture. He says based on conversations he’s had with members, up to 10 percent of the beef herd could be lost due to poor forage crops, which are used for feed.
“That’s just speculation right now. Whether or not those cows actually make it to market or not. I guess we’ll have to wait and see. It’s gonna depend a lot on what feed we can gather up between now and when the snow flies,” he says.
According to Oulton, the longer winter can hold off, the more time the forage crops have to grow back to supply some much-needed feed.
“A lot of the forage crops are down substantially across the province, so there’s just not the feed there has been other years for the livestock end of it, especially for dairy and beef farmers,” says Oulton.
As for apple crops, Oulton says they’ll have trouble meeting their numbers this year.
In addition to lack of rain, he says all of the foreign workers coming to Nova Scotia are scheduled to arrive by next week, but they weren’t able to get as many as they need.
Oulton says apple orchards in the province could use extra hands right now.