Cold, wet spring prevents Holland Marsh farmers from planting crops
Heather Wrigth , CTV Barrie
Published Tuesday, May 6, 2014 8:13PM EDT
The cold, wet spring means crops will be planted later than normal.
Farmer’s fields in the Holland Marsh have looked like lakes. Instead of planting their crops, farmers have been busy pumping water out of their fields.
“It’s been a challenging four years, we really haven’t had a typical spring,” says farmer Jason Verkaik. “We’ve had to work really hard in the spring and in the fall to make up for that.”
Verkaik says planting is in the Holland Marsh about two weeks behind schedule, but there is still some time to get most crops planted. How late the harvest is all depends on what happens over the next couple of months.
“It’s too early to tell, if we get a good hot summer with timely rain, we could catch up,” says Verkaik.
The Executive director of the Holland Marsh Grower’s association says the cold and long winter is just part of the challenge facing farmers.
This is almost par for the course if you go back 30 to 40 years, but because we you these big swings we are going to see bigger impact on farming and on the food that is grown,” says Jamie Reaume. “Pricing wise, it’s not going to impact, it will be more about availability.”
While some of the fruits and vegetables grown in the marsh may be available later than normal this year, the change isn’t all bad news.
“The climate has allowed marsh farmers to stay on a little later,” says Reaume. “We’re finding that we are able to extend the season on some of the hearty vegetables.”
Most farmers don’t expect the cold spring to be a huge problem and they hope to have their crops planted by the end of May.