Strawberries and other N.B. crops delayed due to cool, wet summer

N.B. crops delayed due to fluctuating temperatures
WATCH: Crops in New Brunswick are behind schedule by several weeks, and as Shelley Steeves reports, some farmers say they may have to raise prices as a last resort.

New Brunswick farmers in the province are at a loss as the cool and wet spring has turned into a similarly cool and wet summer.

Crops are behind schedule by several weeks, and some say they are losing out on sales and may have to raise prices as a last resort.

“We should be eating peas by now and it’s not even close” said Christian Michaud, who owns Michaud Farms in Bouctouche.

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Michaud said that all of his crops are behind schedule and he’s even had to leave plastic tarps on his bean fields hoping to generate more heat so the plants can grow faster.

But he says some of his crops have barely budged on growth for over a week now, and customers hoping for fresh local fruits and vegetables are going to have to wait.

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“Usually the plastic would have been gone about 10 days ago, but it has been so cold, miserable and wet that we’ve had to leave it on so things can catch up” said Michaud.

WATCH: Southern Alberta crops in need of rain

Southern Alberta crops in need of rain
Southern Alberta crops in need of rain

He said he likely won’t be able to recoup the lost sales and may have to increase his pricing slightly this year on local fruits and vegetables to compensate for the higher production costs and weather delays.

In nearby Cocagne, NB his cousin and fellow farmer Jean Francois Michaud is having similar weather woes.

“The biggest challenge for us this year is no heat” said Michaud who owns La Fleur Du Pommier strawberry u-pick.

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He said his u-pick would normally open at the end of June, but his berries are weeks behind in growth which means no pickers will be allowed in his field until close to July 10 or even later.

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“It is always frustrating because you have customers used to coming here year after year” said Michaud.

According to Environment Canada, rainfall amounts in the Bouctouche region have been about 28 per cent above normal for the month of June with consistently overcast weather.

But there is a ray of hope on the horizon. The weather in New Brunswick is expected to warm up later this week with plenty of sunshine, which farmers and crops will be soaking up.