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New Brunswick farmers feeling the impact of latest heatwave

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WATCH: New Brunswick farmers are beginning to feel the impacts of a lack of rain and the ongoing high temperatures. Shelley Steeves has more – Jul 24, 2018

New Brunswick farmers are beginning to feel the impacts of a lack of rain and the ongoing high temperatures.

For Benoit Michaud, a farmer in the Bouctouche-area, the soil in his fields is as dry as sand at the beach.

“There’s nothing,” he told Global News on Tuesday.

Several weeks of scorching hot weather and very little moisture is starting to stress Michaud’s crops.

“Potatoes need about two inches of rain per week which we are not getting. So they are irrigating as we speak,” he said.

READ MORE: Nova Scotia strawberry farmers say they’re having one of the worst seasons in memory

Michaud continues pumping out water from his irrigation ponds in order to coat his fields as much as possible.

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But unless significant rainfall comes soon Michaud says the exhaust on his irrigation tractor might as well be spitting Toonies.

Resorting to costly irrigation to keep his crops from drying up is directly eating into his profits

Michaud says that if the hot dry weather continues for another few weeks “it is going to start affecting yields really bad.”

Environment Canada says the last two weeks have been extremely dry.

The southeast part of the province has only received 50 per cent of the normal amount of rainfall.  In the northwest it’s only 25 per cent.

Gusts of wind clocking in at 40 km/hr are making it even more difficult for farmers to keep their crops moist.

Michaud compares the current environment as a large hairdryer — the high winds coupled with the above normal temperatures dries out the fields quickly.

WATCH: Fluctuating temperatures causing headaches for New Brunswick farmers

Click to play video: 'Fluctuating temperatures causing headaches for New Brunswick farmers' Fluctuating temperatures causing headaches for New Brunswick farmers
Fluctuating temperatures causing headaches for New Brunswick farmers – Jun 5, 2018

Over in his berry patch, the hot sun is ripening the strawberries at his U-pick faster than people can get to the field.

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People don’t come out as much because it is hot during the day because it is too hot and so there is going to be some left over in the field,” Michaud said.

Just the thought of berries left rotting in the field leaves a sour taste in Sandra Thomson’s mouth.

She is also attempting to avoid the heat, but said she isn’t willing to give up her annual berry gathering

“Well I come early in the morning because the humidity in the afternoon is too bad,” Thomson said.

There is cooler weather and some rainfall in the long range forecast. Michaud hope it gets here fast enough.

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