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"The Root" of the Problem: Strong Winds, Drought and Heatwaves


A survey conducted in mid-July by the Association des producteurs maraîchers du Québec (APMQ) among 24 root vegetable and onion producers revealed that the majority of them were already reporting lower yields.

The most affected production was that of carrots: 95% of producers surveyed suffered losses of an average of 35%. In the worst case, a producer participating in the probing even lost 88% of his seedlings.

The year 2020 is to be forgotten for carrot producers. Mother Nature has also lead to a disappointing onion crop. This fall, root vegetables may be smaller, more expensive, and fewer in number.

Early into the season, strong winds were a blowin'. Then came the drought. Then came the heatwaves. All elements creating a scenario for near disaster.

In an article by LaPresse today, farmer Jean-Claude Guérin says “I have plants that went out in the wind in the spring, then we had a fatal frost in April. After that, the carrots continued to blow away in the wind in May and June. They then burned in the sun at the end of June and again in July. There, I put water, I put water, I put water. Finally, I put too much water. So they are not good because the root is forked ”.

“It doesn't change the taste,” explains the Montérégie farmer.

They are however unsellable.

Another farmer from Notre-Dame-de-Lourdes also told LaPresse that“I've been in agriculture for 20 years and I've never seen it, never, never, never. And I hope I won't see it again, but I'm afraid it will come back more and more, ”he said of climate change.

The heatwave caused him to lose 3.3 million pounds of carrots. He estimates his losses at $ 600,000.

A producer of onions and carrots in the black soils region of Sherrington, Denys Van Winden suffered significant yield losses on both crops.

“We lost a lot of onions in the heat. What has never happened here in our group of onion growers for 50 years. We've never seen that! "

Typically, an acre produces about 35 tonnes. Yields are currently around 22 tonnes per acre. And onions are often smaller in size. “It's like tiny golf balls,” he explains.

“It's not a big harvest, but it's okay. In carrots, it's a lot more catastrophic, ”he says.



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