Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Dry conditions hurting some field crops

CBC News Posted: Jul 17, 2012 2:26 PM AT Last Updated: Jul 17, 2012 3:38 PM AT

As Prince Edward Island experiences hot and dry weather conditions, agriculture officials say field crops, like hay, barley and wheat, are struggling for moisture.

Doon Pauly, a field crop development officer with the province, said the lack of moisture is hurting field potential for most crops.

"It's not just hay that is not regrowing, it is hurting the barley and wheat that is nearing the time when it should be filling the grain. That is really being impaired," he said.

"Rain is needed very soon to help fill the barley crops, the wheat crops."

Based on how dry the summer has been, Pauly said around 30 to 50 millimetres of rain are needed to improve the moisture situation.

Since May 1 only 111 mm of rain has fallen at the Charlottetown Airport. On average during that period 219 mm usually falls.

Mount Carleton reopens after bout of dry weather

CBC News Posted: Jul 17, 2012 11:59 AM AT Last Updated: Jul 17, 2012 4:55 PM AT

The Mount Carleton Provincial Park in northwestern New Brunswick has reopened after its first closure in four years.

A stretch of hot, dry weather forced the park to close on July 13.

Louis Comeau, the park manager, said officials felt temporarily closing the trails was the safest option.

"With the dry weather, the wind and the severe thunderstorms that were announced … we just made the decision to shut her down for a while,” he said.

Mount Carleton, which re-opened on July 14 after some rain overnight, is the only provincial park forced to close due to the weather so far this summer.

Its high altitudes make it more vulnerable during electrical storms, said Comeau.

In addition, smoking is permitted on the grounds at the park, which can be dangerous during dry conditions.

Work crews pulled out

The NB Trails Council Inc., which oversees maintenance of the hiking and biking trails in the province, also pulled work crews out of Mount Carleton because of the dry weather, said spokeswoman Isabelle Kirouac.

"What we do is we take our workers off the trails when it's extremely hot and that's just for fire hazard because they do use saws and just …equipment,” she said.

Mount Carleton has seen a recent spike in popularity, with 9,000 more visitors last year than the year before, officials said.

The park has more than 42,000 acres of wilderness and more wild animal species than any other part of the province, according to the Tourism New Brunswick website.