Manitoba’s dry spell is continuing unabated — and without a drop of rain in sight, farmers are having to make life-changing decisions just to stay afloat.
Tyler Fulton, president of Manitoba Beef Producers, told 680 CJOB that the drought is forcing families to sell farms that have been in their families for generations.
“It’s terrible. It’s like a convection oven out there. It’s deteriorating very quickly. We have scenarios where farmers are without pasture now for their animals.”
Fulton said a potential solution is a collaboration between crop and livestock producers in an effort to help each other through a difficult season.
“We know that there’s a ton of cereal crops that are just burning up right now,” he said.
“We’re at a critical point in time — livestock guys can still make use of some of that crop, if we can get it knocked down and baled up. It could go a long way to mitigating some of the effects.
“We’re working on trying to facilitate those agreements between crop producers and livestock producers to help make that decision to utilize a crop that would otherwise not be economically viable to harvest with a combine, but to be able to make use of it by baling it up as green feed for livestock operations.”
Fulton says he’s also been in contact with government in hopes of coming up with an agri-recovery program to make sure farmers aren’t losing their livelihoods.
Farmers are unlikely to get any help from the weather in the near future, either, if the forecast is any indication.
A former Environment Canada meteorologist told 680 CJOB earlier this week that 2021 is shaping up to be one of the province’s driest ever recorded.
Robert Paola said while the province may have seen similar dry spells in past years, there hasn’t been a steady rainfall in the Winnipeg region in a full month, and temperatures are far from normal.
“Your average for Winnipeg is about 13 days of 30 C or more per year we’ve already had 16 and we still have the rest of July and August to go through,” said Paola.