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Flood warning continues; farmers concerned

Flooding and pooling water on farm lands throughout the County in 2017.

As Lake Ontario water levels remain above the highest recorded since 1918, local farmers are expecting later harvests, and a potential of reduced yields.

Quinte Conservation Water Resources Manager Christine McClure said Thursday the flood warning for Bay of Quinte and Lake Ontario shorelines will likely remain in effect at least until the end of June.

“Based on the best available information from the federal government it appears that Lake Ontario water levels have stabilized,” said McClure. “However, wind and waves can create short-term higher water levels along shorelines. We could see local water levels drop 30 centimetres between early July and mid-August.”

“This year, all of the land which was intended for planting will have a planting date which is later than ideal,” said John Thompson, president of the Prince Edward Federation of Agriculture. “Some of the crops which are currently planted are doing OK on well drained land but some areas have suffered from saturation and ponding.”

He said much of the land is not yet planted, but farmers are hopeful with forecasts for a warmer and drier planting window next week.

“Some of the fields which were intended for corn this year may not be planted and plan B would usually be to plant soybeans which are a shorter season crop,” he added.

The extreme drought of last year resulted in much-reduced harvests and some County farmers had to haul water for their livestock.

“A drought in 2016 followed by flooded fields this year, late planting and a farm property tax increase in the range of 25 per cent makes the outlook this year look less than encouraging.”

Filed Under: Local News

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