Farmers in Atlantic Canada are becoming increasingly concerned about the prevalence of drought in their region. Many areas along the east coast are experiencing drier conditions than usual for this time of year, with minimal rainfall expected in the near future.
As indicated by the Canadian Drought Monitor, by the end of April, several parts of New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, and Newfoundland and Labrador were categorized as “abnormally dry.” Additionally, specific regions in New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and P.E.I. were identified as facing “moderate drought.”
The lack of precipitation is already taking a toll on agricultural activities. In Nova Scotia’s Annapolis Valley, food producers are utilizing their water reserves two months earlier than anticipated. Farmers are doing everything possible to prevent their fields from drying up, but unfavorable conditions such as hot and dry springs, along with unusually cold nights, are making it challenging to grow crops.
To combat these conditions, William Spurr, the president of Horticulture Nova Scotia, mentions the constant need for irrigation. He reveals that over the past two and a half weeks, they have been irrigating as much as they typically would during July and August, even though it is not yet June. Spurr had initially planned to install an expensive irrigation system later in the summer but was compelled to do it earlier to safeguard a batch of young apple trees.
Farmers across the region are expressing growing apprehension about the potential consequences if the dry spell continues. Greg Donald, the general manager of the potato board in P.E.I., highlights the significantly reduced rainfall in April and May, with farmers receiving only a quarter of their usual precipitation. While the situation could improve if substantial rainfall occurs in the next couple of weeks, the current lack of rain is causing considerable concern among farmers.