Just An Observation – Moving forward, forgetting the past in a couple ways

Politics and agriculture have more in common than you think in this week’s column

Finally, it is now time to move on. Well, at least until four years have gone past.

This past Monday marked the conclusion to municipal election season in the province and all of the mud-slinging, name-calling, idea-spouting and general ‘electioneering’ that goes with it.

I say thank goodness as I was getting nauseated on a daily basis with the constant barrage of political rhetoric, statements and promise. And that was just from the people supporting the candidates, let alone whatever came out via the platforms of those running for office be it town, county, city or school boards.

Alas though, unless you are in a jurisdiction that winds up with representatives that get along and compromise on issues or simply agree to disagree without tossing people under a bus, it could be yet another long four years.

Although, controversy and battles make my business a whole lot easier to do since it’s so difficult to write something interesting that people want to read if there is never any differing opinions, strong or not.

However, all that being said, give it another 18 months or so and everyone will once again be in an uproar as the real battle of Alberta will kick off — it will be time for another provincial election. Cue the fireworks now, please.

Farm forecast

Turning to the weather, the recent chill and moisture has sent farmers pretty much into final harvest mode in the region as they ensure that all of their crops get off the field.

Safe to say that this year will likely be on par with the five-year average yield for central Alberta, a fact that can’t be stated for the rest of the province.

Dry conditions and some extreme heat experienced from May to August in southern areas meant crops didn’t hit their growth margins, even in the areas where irrigation is very prevalent. This led to much lower yields and will mean cattle operations may have even started supplemental feeding already, months ahead of usual.

The north — both east and west portions extending from Drayton Valley to Provost all the way up to Cold Lake then across to Peace River — have had the opposite problem of too much moisture.

Snow hit early last fall leaving a lot of farmers to wait until that moisture dried up this spring in order to get crops harvested and prepare for this year. Unfortunately, excessive amounts of spring rain delayed even that and forced a very late seeding of crops.

While some producers were able to adjust what they put into the ground to account for the shorter season, some gambled with their seeding plans in hopes of better fall weather.

Those that did came up with snake-eyes the past couple weeks as big rains, some snowstorms and frost has bitten an enormous chunk out of the yield potential in those regions, which will see a number lose everything they put in the ground this year.

However, as my grandfather used to say every September on the farm, “There’s always next year.”

But that is…just an observation.

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