Cold spring weather forces crops off schedule - The Packer

Cold spring weather forces crops off schedule

06/11/2014 10:12:00 AM
Chelsea Mies

An unusually long and cold winter in Ontario, like in much of North America, is causing mixed scheduling issues for growers.

Some growers are experiencing a slight pushback in the growing season.

Temperatures this spring in Ontario were below average, and in combination with rain they have caused a few issues with the crops in the providence.

As a result of the cold weather, Paul Smith, co-owner of Smith Gardens, Queensville, Ontario, said they had been unable to get on the fields as soon as they had in previous years.

“Maybe we still have time to catch up,” Smith said.

The long winter made spring weather come later this year. However, crops don’t seem to be overly affected. The main issue at hand isn’t damaged or small crops. It’s timing.


Couple of weeks off

Paula Fett, co-owner of S. Fett Farms, LaSalette, Ontario, said although the company normally tries to have potatoes ready by Father’s Day, they won’t be available this year. S. Fett Farms’ 300 acres of potatoes won’t be ready until at least two weeks after the holiday, she said.

“Some of the plants didn’t do so well,” Fett said.

Although production is still going strong, Paul Procyk, co-owner of Wilsonville, Ontario-based Procyk Farms, said that they are five to seven days behind normal harvest dates.

Welsh Bros. Farm, Scotland, Ontario, didn’t have problems getting things planted on time.

“We’ve been able to get everything planted that we needed to with the soil we are on,” said Charles Welsh, co-owner of Welsh Bros. “We are doing OK that way.”

However, Welsh said he expects delays with his sweet corn harvest. He said he doesn’t think his 600 acres of sweet corn will be ready until July 10-15, a week or two later than last year.

Procyk said his sweet corn harvest will be delayed a few days too.

Dominion FarmsGrower Jack Devald (right) produces carrots for Dominion Farms, and Tony Tomizza is general manager of Dominion Farms. Though weather has been colder than normal, Dominion's field operations chief Dennie Moser says crops are not too far behind since they got crops seeded early.Bradford, Ontario-based Dominion Farms isn’t experiencing delays, said Dennie Moser, head of charge of field operations, procurement and food safety at Dominion. He said seeding was done earlier at Dominion last year, but the crops will end up being ready around the same time.

“It is a bit cooler than it should be, but it’s nothing that is really stymieing anything yet,” Moser said. ‘We don’t want too much heat to burn little tiny plants off, but when sunshine and nice weather hit them they will take off.”


Crop looking normal

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