According to senior agronomist Dale Cowan with AGRIS Co-operative Ltd., crops in Chatham-Kent have not only seen too much rainfall, but there has been too little sunshine as well. “I have seen seasons this wet before. What is a bit unusual is the intensity of the rainfall events,” Cowan said. “We had almost twice our normal rainfall for the summer months.”
The lack of sunshine associated with overcast skies is having yet another impact. Compared to a year ago, crops are about nine days behind in terms of heat unit accumulation and the wet soils have added to that concern.
Wendy Zhang, agronomist with Kejay Farms, said the onions were especially vulnerable: “All our tractors are out pumping water. If they (the onions) don’t sit in the water too much longer, maybe they’ll be okay.” Kejay Farms produces onions, carrots and other crops, much of which are sold through national grocers. Kejay Farms and Nature’s Finest Produce, operated by Jason and Kevin Stallaert, are especially known for carrot production and distribution, including a patented system that allows the delivery of fresh carrots to consumers throughout the winter months and into the following spring.