Weather in summer
If you live in Canada, chances are you groaned at the impending hot weather or rain storms or began to
prepare for a hailstorm after hearing it on the news. What do these unique weather conditions mean for
farmers, with weather that can go from 38 degrees all the way to 10 degrees Celsius, how do farmers
manage this and how do they protect their crops?
Often times farmers cannot do much to help their crops through weather challenges except to select
varieties that can thrive in our conditions. That being said, they can make choices that can help their
crops grow well. Those choices can start in the fall with harvest! How much straw is left and at what
height the crop is cut can impact how much material is left for the soil to improve with, and how much
moisture it could hold when it snows. Those choices in the combine can impact what choices the farmer
makes when they are planning for crops and setting their seeders or planters.
Unfortunately crops are not always safe from storms, however there are certain insurance plans and
deals farmers can make with companies to protect them in such a disaster. The challenging weather
conditions mean that farmers have to sometimes improvise almost on the spot to have their entire
operation stuck or become confused or damaged during the weather conditions here in Canada.
One very helpful piece of technology for farmers is weather maps and radar. It can predict moisture,
wind and temperature for upcoming weather. They also can indicate areas which may have negative
impacts from severe weather like frost, hail, heavy rain or winds. Knowing where to check first lets a
farmer get there quickly to find out if they need a crop insurance claim made, and to decide how that
damaged field may come back (or not) and plan for it when getting ready for harvest. Sometimes a crop
will come back but be maturing at two different rates (the original plants and the newly sprouted post
storm plants). This can make harvesting tricky!
Farmers use so much technology and yet we can only work with what the land and the weather give us.
Stewardship of the land and resources is an important job for everyone in agriculture. You can be a
steward of land in your own yard or community! Pick up garbage in the park, pull some weeds or water
a plant. Check to see what beneficial insects are present and help create habitats to support them.
Encourage the grown ups around you to recycle, compost and reuse whenever possible. You can also
learn more about weather, STEAM and agriculture with us here at Ag Tech STEAM!
What are some questions you have about farming, crop scouting or weather? Once we have a few we’ll
get our experts together to answer some of them!! Send your questions in the comments, by email or
on social media!