Jordie Dywer - Editorial

Jordie Dywer - Editorial

Just An Observation: A little rain must fall to benefit everyone

No matter what some people think, some rain and cooler temperatures this summer are a good thing

Let it rain.

Well, at the very least have some fall a day each week for about the next month.

And no, I’m not going crazy or need to pay a visit to a nearby hospital, I’m concerned about the crops out in the fields for the summer. Sure, some people complain about the cool and wet conditions many times throughout the spring and summer, not wanting it to ‘ruin’ their vacation or outdoor activities or weekend at the lake.

However, if there was one — just one day — rain event during the week, the chances of a great looking crop would skyrocket.

Okay sure, there was a record crop last year and the railways can’t seem to keep up with the shipping demands placed upon them. And yeah, it may not always fit into people’s plans or looks like it isn’t even helping as it comes rolling off the roads and fields.

The fact of the matter is though, a nice steady all day rain goes a very long way in getting the crops off to a great start in the spring and helping to maintain that strength through the summer.

That moisture is also able to soak into the ground, where it continues to feed the crops when the rain isn’t there, while also replenishing the long-term moisture levels in the surround soil. A steady rain of just 10 millimetres over a day can have a greater effect that double that in just an hour.

Why? Well, when rain comes down at too fast of a rate, there is little chance it will pool and be absorbed by plants or the soil. It’s more likely it will run into a ditch or a stream and completely miss doing some good in the fields.

While some areas north of Edmonton and along the central part of the province near the Saskatchewan border are in good shape moisture-wise, the same can’t be said for a huge portion of those main growing areas — specifically northwestern areas around Grande Prairie and Peace River as well areas stretching from Drayton Valley all the way through to Lethbridge and as far east as Oyen.

All of these regions range from very low to near drought levels of soil moisture, with many crops — even in irrigation areas — struggling to germinate.

So the moisture from a decent soaking day-long rain event — even once every two weeks if not every seven days — would definitely be welcomed by farmers and cattle producers alike.

Since not only would it improve the crops in the fields and replace moisture that will be desperately needed later, it would provide pastures and hay fields an opportunity for new growth. That way, ensuring a nice supply of feed and helping to save money as producers won’t have to dip into their winter supplies earlier than they should be.

For those that will complain that it’s summer and we should have warm, sunny skies for weeks on end because of the wet spring and long winter, I say that you can’t have it both ways.

Life — much like a two-scoop ice cream in a waffle cone — needs to be all about balance.

Too big of a scoop on top and it will topple, while all of it will melt out the bottom if the cone isn’t just right or you won’t be able to finish it if the two different flavoured scoops don’t mesh well together.

Thereby, if there is little to no rain during the growing season to support the crops, everyone suffers.

Bread and the cost of many other grocery staples rise, less money is spent in the economy as farmers cut back on what they can, businesses suffer and potentially lay off employees because of fewer purchases and small communities get smaller due to people leaving for larger centres in order to make a living.

So, at least some rain must fall in all of our lives, it’s just a matter of how one looks at it.

But that is…just an observation.