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Rain delaying harvest for some Alberta farmers

Some farmers in the Edmonton area have been plagued by a delay in crop harvests due to wet conditions this summer.

Farmer John Guelly told the Calgary Herald that heavy amounts of rain have caused shorter working days for him on his farm near Westlock, Alta., and added that he hasn’t been able to use equipment on oversaturated fields.

“The problem right now is travelling in the fields, there’s a lot of areas you can’t go into. It looks like a normal crop and all of a sudden you see water, so you’ve gotta make sure you stay out of there and don’t get the combines and trucks stuck,” he said. “It’s amazing how much a millimetre or two millimetres of rain will set you back.”

Guelly said last year he was also slightly behind schedule, but he believes he’s about two weeks later than last summer.

He added that he’s been able to combine a quarter of his barley, and a portion of his peas and canola, but doesn’t expect to get into his wheat for another week or two.

While he told the Herald that he’s trying to remain optimistic for better weather, he acknowledged that a delayed harvest often makes for a lower quality crop that could pose a challenge to making a profit.

“We get paid on volume and on quality and the quality is definitely deteriorating the longer it’s exposed to the weather,” he said.