'You’re not going to grow anything in a desert': Sask. farmers left with few options
SASKATOON -- As dry and hot conditions persist in the province, farmers like Jeremy Welter have increasing concerns over the future as they sit and wait for the skies to open up with some much-needed rain.
“I hate to say it things kind of really aren’t actually really going right now at all. we're going into seven weeks of no substantial rain and really no moisture,” Welter told CTV News.
According to the Government of Saskatchewan's latest crop update, only about half of fall and spring cereals, oilseeds and 49 pulse crops are at "normal stages of development for this time of year."
Welter grew up on a farm, and nine years ago he decided to return to the industry, but now he has uncertainties about the future as his crops bake in the sun.
“The thought of this being that final nail in the coffin that drives me out of the industry, because I just can't do it anymore financially, it's hard for me. I can’t imagine what it's like for someone who has been in the industry 20-30 years,” Welter said.
The provincial update said only 8 per cent of topsoil is considered adequate when it comes moisture, with 53 per cent classified "very short" on moisture.
Welter said at this point there is very little to be done other than just sitting and waiting for rain or moisture of any kind while trying to understand it’s out of his hands.
“I was having a conversation with somebody else about mental health and stress. I said as disappointing as it is to look out and see all of the time and energy and investment dry up and wither in the field, there is a definite part of you that goes ‘there’s not much I could have done differently,’” Welter told CTV.
“In a year like this you can pick the most drought-tolerant crops and you can be as good as anybody at managing both the business and the agronomic side of a farm, you’re not going to grow anything in a desert.”
Welter said he is already looking to next year, although if conditions are the same, he says planning ahead of time won’t be any good when up against Mother Nature.