May’s torrential rain hurts farmers in the Ottawa area

Farmers are lagging behind due to heavy rainfall in the last two months. Photo: Radio-Canada / Marc-Antoine Lavoie

The large amount of rainfall in May still prevents many farmers in the region from planting their seeds.

A stark contrast to the dry spring of 2016. “Last year we could sow at any time,” says Andy Terrauds, co-owner of Acorn Creek Garden Farm and vice-president of the Ottawa Farmers’ Market.

He adds that at this moment the soil is so wet that it has planted only 15% of its seeds.

Recorded 1986 beaten

More than 175 mm of rain fell on Ottawa in May, breaking the previous record of 164 mm that dates back to 1986. A phenomenal amount, as it only an average 83 mm rainfall in May.

Farmers are hoping for a more clement and sunny June. Mr. Terrauds explains that lack of sunlight is equally problematic for farmers. “We need three consecutive days of sunshine so our land will be dry,” he says.

The farmer, who deals with about thirty restaurants in Ottawa, says he is lagging behind in his production of onions, lettuce and leeks.

Precipitation also had a detrimental effect in the Outaouais region. “The impact on our production is enormous,” says Robin Turner, co-owner of the Roots and Shoots Farm, located in La Pêche.

The month of June will be decisive for farmers in the region. “The real test is June,” says Turner. “It’s not just rain. Plantations need sunshine, “he adds.


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