Langley farmer Marcel Sachse holds up some fennel that has survived the cold at his Pinch of Soil farm.

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

Crop trouble could come if cold weather continues

The unusually cold winter hasn’t hit Fraser Valley farmers too hard yet, but the board chair of the B.C. Agriculture Council is concerned for what could happen if it continues any longer.

“Most of the crop farmers aren’t doing anything this time of year. They aren’t doing any tillage at this point,” said Stan Vander Waal, who owns Rainbow Greenhouses in Chilliwack.

“The challenge is just the outright costs.”

He said farmers are having to use three to four times as much heat with temperatures consistently below zero, which is a particular concern for farmers working with older, more drafty buildings.

“That often leads in challenges with keeping the water flowing. Chicken and dairy farmers have to make sure the waterlines aren’t freezing,” Vander Waal said.

He said he is more concerned with the strong winds than the cold itself.

“When we get this extreme cold, we get these strong arctic outflow winds that really test your roofs,” he said.

He said he’s tried to keep glass or plastic on his greenhouse, but it gets weakened in the cold and wind, and one day a chunk of the roof flew off.

The deep freeze isn’t all bad news for Marcel Sachse, who grows everything from cabbage to kale on his farm, Pinch of Soil, in Langley.

“It kills some of the pests that are in the ground that would otherwise be too abundant,” Sachse said.

But he’s still waiting for when the weather warms up.

“We’ll see when the snow is gone how the brussel sprouts and leeks are growing.”




Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.


Just Posted

UPDATE: ‘Fairy Godmother’ needs help to make prom night special for Langley grads

Charity collects donated dresses, suits, and accessories for grads who can’t afford them

UPDATE: Fire at Port Coquitlam rail yard under control

Evacuation order lifted, residents told to remain inside

UPDATE: Tsunami warning cancelled for coastal British Columbia

Warning issued following 7.9 earthquake off Kodiak, AK

B.C. man accused of impersonating an officer eludes capture

Arrest warrant still stands for Bryce Scott Telford

Bird count scheduled for Langley area

Volunteers collect data that is shared with the Metro Vancouver regional authority

Mom delivers plastic mats to Langley’s homeless

Jenifer Kosman fashions sleeping mats from plastic grocery bags

Canada, TPP agrees to revised deal without the United States

Canada and the remaining members of the Trans-Pacific Partnership have agreed to a revised trade agreement

Tsunami warnings 101: Canada

Here are some things to know about tsunami alerts in Canada and how they work

Rogers Media cuts ties with Vice Canada

Rogers Media and Vice Canada are ending their three-year-old partnership, pulling Viceland TV channel off the air

Snowfall warnings for mountain passes

Lots of snow expected to fall today.

Back to work: U.S. government shutdown ends after Democrats relent

Short-term spending measure means both sides could see another shutdown stalemate in three weeks

Man lives despite malfunctioning defibrillator at B.C. arena

A middle-aged man went into cardiac arrest after at game at Pitt Meadows Arena last Wednesday.

Protect your home and save: New sensor stops flooding in its tracks

BC-made system offers solution to damaging leaks from water tanks, dishwashers and more

Most Read