Farmers have more water in their fields

News 19 July, 2017
  • Photo Marie-Ève Dumont
    The fields of John Knight, a farmer in Saint-Ignace-de-Loyola, in Lanaudière, are always full of water in full-July.

    Marie-Eve Dumont

    Wednesday, 19 July 2017 23:16

    Wednesday, 19 July 2017 23:16

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    A farmer of Lanaudière fear of harvests “catastrophic” in the fall because of the floods, which were still a part of his land under water Wednesday.

    “I’ve never seen that in my life, the water in the fields too long. If it freezes early, the last few fields of corn that I planted won’t make it to term, and this will be catastrophic. I am going to find myself in financial difficulty,” says John Knight, a farmer in Saint-Ignace-de-Loyola, in Lanaudière.


    The tractor that Mr. Knight has failed to get stuck in the mud when he made a visit to his fields in the Log to see the damage, as the earth was still soaked with water by place. There was still almost two feet of water in some parts of the fields.

    It is more than half of its territory that it has not been able to be seeded or that has been made at the end of June rather than in may.

    Mr. Knight is not the only one to fear major losses. Thirty farmers and residents of Lanaudière and the Mauricie have been unable to sow on more than 500 acres, about 2 km2 because there was still too much water in June, according to Michel Désy, of the Union of agricultural producers in the Lanaudière region.

    Young people in debt

    A dozen of them have, even today, the water accumulated in some areas of their field.

    The young farmer Daniel Barrette calculates on his side as his brother and him should make no profit at the end of the summer.

    Nearly 80 % of his hay was destroyed by the waters. Therefore he had to sow again, but he could not do so before the end of June because their lands were always flooded.

    “Normally, we cut three times for hay during the year, in June, July and August. I’ve missed two and the August harvest is going to be less good than normal. It is young farmers, it has a lot of debt. It really is not easy”, is concerned about the 35 year old man.

    It is difficult to know the exact reasons for that are that the water remained so long. One thinks, naturally, to the floods in the spring have been exceptional, which has soaked the soil of water. And the bad weather of recent weeks has not been favorable for the evaporation and drying of the land.

    But the farmers show instead of the finger, the level of lake Ontario, which is also very high, never-before-seen in 100 years. The Moses-Saunders dam at Cornwall, Ontario has increased the water flow on the 14th of June last, to try to bring the level to normal, which made up the St. Lawrence river.

    Conditions losing

    “Normally, in June, these farmers have favourable conditions for sowing. This year, with the conditions that we had in the spring and with the water level of lake Ontario which is still high, we find ourselves at the end of July with the soil thoroughly wet,” explains Louis-Olivier Batty, a spokesperson for Hydro-Quebec, which does not control the dam, but that monitors the level of the water.

    What they said

    “We work all to make money. This year, my brother and me, we will make no profit.”

    – Daniel Barrette, farmer and dairy producer, St-Barthélemy

    “We have already completed over the last year [in the red] because I have sold my beef is the same price that I had paid for the calf. The flood this year, this is nothing to help me sleep well at night.”

    – John Knight, farmer and producer of beef, Saint-Ignace-de-Loyola

    “It was nothing to get out the big machinery to sow 200 feet barely. I have, therefore, no corn this year, there was still water in the past week.”

    – Yves Dupuis, farmer of Saint-Barthélemy

    “We would like to meet with the government to see what could be done to help the farmers. It is a never-before-seen so much water this late. There will be a lot of losses, that is certain.”

    – Michel Désy, UPA Lanaudière