Vineyards across Niagara are partially submerged after Monday’s heavy rainfall.
“Right now we cannot drive into the fields. With the amount of rain that we had we are basically saturated right now, so we would do more damage in the field with the equipment.” Thomas Oppenlander. Huebel Grapes Estates.
Oppenlander’s farm has drainage tiles along every row, which carries any excess water from the fields to a waterway. But some farms don’t and they’re left with pooling water. Which means their growing season is off to a slow start.
Phil Tregunno is the chair of the Ontario Tender Fruit Growers Association, the soil under his nectarine field is sandy which absorbs water quickly. But with 70 millimetres of rain expected over the next three days, there is a high chance of flooding again.
“Everything seems to be an extreme, so we will get shots of extreme heat, extreme cold and this is what we are seeing right now with way more water than we would normally get.” Phil Tregunno, Tregunno fruit farms
To give you an idea of how extreme these rain storms are, last May the entire month, the Niagara area was only hit with 15 millimetres of rain.
While the season isn’t in jeopardy, some farmers could fall behind schedule if the soggy spring weather continues.