Farmers 'crying for rain' across Southern Ontario
WINGHAM, ONT. -- Mike Colclough remembers wearing a toque to plant this year’s corn crop. Since then, almost perfect growing conditions have led to an excellent crop, up until the middle of June, which was the last time his corn saw rain.
“Up until this part it’s been really good. The corn is almost shoulder height, when it’s supposed to be knee high, normally. So, it’s well advanced, but without any rain it doesn’t matter what stage it’s at,” says the Clinton-area farmer.
Colclough’s corn is literally cooking where it stands.
Nearly three weeks without rain have put his acres in jeopardy, and forced his corn plants to start spiking - corn’s defence mechanism to try to limit its exposure to the baking sun.
“The corn is trying. It’s in it’s defensive mode. If we get rain by this weekend, I’m sure things will turn around. If we don’t get rain, it’s going to be pretty tough again,” he says.
Again. Because this is three years of drought-like conditions for Colclough, who's not alone. Farmers across Southern Ontario are dealing with their driest conditions of the year, so far.
Jeff Drudge farms near Wingham.
“Dry weather is starting to hurt things. Two weeks since we’ve had rain here. Thirty degrees each day and any moisture in the field dries up fast. So we’d be very appreciative of a rain, soon,” says Drudge.
It’s a helpless feeling, say Drudge and Colclough, watching a year of planning and days of planting literally dry up before your eyes.
“Nothing we can do but wait for rain. See what Mother Nature brings us,” says Colclough.