After several years of drought-like conditions, recent rainy weather might just give grain producers in the Peace River region a chance for a decent crop yield.The longer-lasting snow cover did delay seeding, but despite the late seeding, the season has gotten off to a good start, says David Wuthrich, president of the B.C. Grain Producers Association.- Advertisement -[asset|aid=3601|format=mp3player|formatter=asset_bonus|title=6b40724469c8f32f8371241737f1c083-Wuthrich Crops 1_1_Pub.mp3] Fort St. John has experienced 60 millimetres of precipitation so far this month. While 71.4 mm is the normal June, with a little more than a week to go before the end of the month, Environment Canada is calling for between 10 and 20 mm, Thursday. That added precipitation could easily push the area above the monthly average.Wuthrich says additional rain could cause problems for grain crops, but would not hurt hay or grass seed production. Ideally, he says grain producers hope for rain at least once a week, followed by sunny weather.The Peace River region has been plagued by drought-like conditions over several years and Environment Canada is predicting a hot, dry summer for most of the country, including across B.C. However, Wuthrich says even if that does prove to be true, the amount of moisture the area has already seen has recharged soils and should be enough to carry the crop through to the harvest.Advertisement As of Tuesday, 257.4 mm of precipitation has been recorded at the Fort St. John airport for the year, which is far higher than the 199.2 mm normal.If crop yields are not as high as anticipated, there are resources for farmers to access, such as production insurance or AgriStability and AgriRecovery. Yet, even this aid may not be enough to sustain farmers. Wuthrich says production insurance is often dependent on a farmer’s 10-year average yield. Thus, if drought conditions persist for several years, the average yield would decrease, limiting the amount for which farmers are eligible.
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