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Floods threaten Prairie farmers

Flood waters leave fields swampy and saturated
Flood waters leave fields swampy and saturated

Andrea Stockton, staff writer

May 3, 2011 — Farmers across the Prairie provinces are looking at delays to the planting season due to recent snow and significant spring floods.

Planting season delayed
Planting season delayed

Significant spring flooding across parts of the Prairies has farmers hoping for sunny, dry weather ahead.

The saturated grounds from last spring, combined with record snowpack this winter has been the perfect formula for widespread flooding. The Canadian Wheat Board says a recent deadly snowstorm has also helped to delay the seeding season for Prairie farmers by about two weeks.

While agricultural officials try to remain optimistic, they say it will take a lot of heat to dry up the swampy fields.

It's an all too familiar scene for farmers that were forced to leave millions of hectares of land unseeded last year due to persistent rain and early frost.

Saskatchewan saw record rainfall in 2010
Saskatchewan saw record rainfall in 2010

A bad barley crop was just one result of the soggy conditions and that could mean a spike in beer prices next year.

Saskatchewan farmers filed crop insurance claims for nearly three million hectares in 2010, which was an all-time high according to government authorities.

The Canadian Wheat Board estimates up to two million hectares could go unseeded this year. Officials say the weather over the next few weeks will have an impact on the start of the planting season.

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