Nadja Moritz shows off a hotbed on the Pinsch of Soil farm in Langley.

Fraser Valley farmers happy that ‘snowmaggedon’ is behind them

Chilliwack and Langley farms are concerned about short growing season for their crops

The harsh winter season has proven to be a mixed bag for farmers in the Fraser Valley.

“It sucked,” said dairy farmer Jeremy Wiebe, owner of Rosevale Farms in Chilliwack. “It creates a lot more work for the farm.”

Chilliwack had a particularly snowy winter, with more than 100 centimetres of the white stuff falling in just one week in February. That, totalled with the snowfall which began back in the first week of December, led to headaches for Wiebe.

“Just clearing the yards for the milk truck took hours and we have this huge long driveway,” he said, adding that while he was lucky to avoid damage, many farmers in the region were not.

“There were farms in Chilliwack that had some roofs collapse,” said Wiebe.

As a dairy farmer, he has non-insulated barns and managed to avoid the sky high costs for heating that some farmers endure.

Wiebe’s cows generate so much body heat that even when it’s -15 C, it’s a relatively balmy zero degrees inside the barns.

“The extra cost is in labour,” Wiebe said. “The water was frozen so now you’re running water lines across your farm.”

Both he and Langley farmer Marcel Sachse have watched their growing seasons shorten as a result of the long winter.

“It took a little longer for us to plant in the greenhouse [because] don’t have a heated greenhouse,” said Sachse of his Pinsch of Soil vegetable farm near the U.S. border.

“That was just this Monday that we went out to the fields.”

But while it was a late start, Sachse feels like he’ll do just fine this season.

“We already have carrots, peas, radishes, cabbages and kale. In the greenhouse we are growing different kinds of lettuces.”

Sasche was excited to take advantage of the farm’s hotbeds.

“It is basicaly just an outside box that [has] manure heated soil in the box,” said Sachse.

Wiebe, on the other hand, is concerned about the shorter hay growing season.

“[Grass] is just starting to green up now. It’s over a month behind,” Wiebe said.

”Farmers are going to be looking at their inventory and bringing in feed from Alberta or the north. No matter what, you have to feed your cows.”

VIDEO: Fraser Valley farmers weather high costs and damage during cold snap

 

 


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

 

Just Posted

Giants ground Rockets in WHL action

Vancouver builds early lead, never looks back in 6-1 win at Langley Events Centre

VIDEO: emergency landing near Langley airport

Plane lost power during take-off

Crash on 200 Street in Langley Township

Report of traffic congestion following late morning accident

Surrey’s Justin Sourdif to debut for Vancouver Giants tonight in Langley

Last month, he suited up for Team BC in the WHL Cup and was named tournament all-star.

Heavy downpours expected in parts of Metro Vancouver

Heavy rain will begin to ease off Sunday evening as the frontal system moves south out of the area

VIDEO: Rare comic showing Superman’s 1st appearance to be auctioned

The 1938 comic features Superman hoisting a car over his head

Start on time: Canucks looking to shake first-period struggles

Canucks centre Bo Horvat said the formula for getting a leg up is there for everyone to see

COMMUTER ALERT: Snowfall warnings in effect across B.C.

Travelling this weekend? Check the forecasts before hitting the road

Drones take off to search for missing North Okanagan women

A volunteer search party was supported by professional drone operators

Tips for keeping your personal data safe, from the experts

It’s important to keep your ‘online footprint’ safe

Lights to turn blue ahead of funeral for fallen Abbotsford police officer

Buildings across B.C. are going blue Saturday night in honour of Const. John Davidson

Ride-share pioneer drives up quietly to B.C. battleground

Lyft approaches B.C. without Uber bombast, eyes small towns

Crash shuts down Highway 91 in Richmond for hours

The stretch of highway was closed for more than 6 hours due to a multi-vehicle accident

VIDEO: Rare comic showing Superman’s 1st appearance to be auctioned

The 1938 comic features Superman hoisting a car over his head

Most Read