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Working out the drought with Quesnel farmers

Gov seminar delivers info on soil, business conditions
Nicole Pressey, the Quesnel-area’s regional agrologist for the B.C. government, hosted a workshop on drought resilience for farmers with three leaders in the field. (Tracey Roberts photo - Quesnel Cariboo Observer)

With the harvest season almost over for all the farmers of the region, the results are now known about what grew and what didn’t.

The drought that cooked the fields and forests of the province did significant damage to the crops and bottom lines of farmers across the region. Few, if any, are unscathed, and for some food producers, the summer of 2023 was an unmitigated disaster.

The provincial government can’t change the weather, but they can offer information about how the markets are responding, how fiscal tools can be used, and perhaps most importantly, how to guard your soil and other land factors against even more damage. A Drought Extension Workshop tour is underway. Quesnel was on the schedule Sept. 15.

Nicole Pressey, the Quesnel-area’s regional agrologist for the B.C. Ministry of Agriculture, hosted a trio of agriculture leaders to talk with local farmers about their next business moves. Jim Forbes, Greg Tegart, and Mike Witt joined her for the free workshop, with similar sessions in six other central communities in northern B.C.

“They’re talking about herd health and nutrition, forage and pasture management, and business decisions in drought,” said Pressey. There was a workbook to take home, and more channels to get the message out in the weeks ahead. Pressey acknowledged that the need to talk with farmers outweighed the ability to have a perfect schedule. Farmers have a lot of decisions to make in the very short term.

“The timing is not the greatest. We are hoping to offer something in followup to the people who couldn’t make the in-person sessions,” she said. “Planning is underway for virtual sessions later in the fall.”

Please contact or call 1-888-221-7141 to sign up for information about the upcoming ways to share beneficial practices in the aftermath of this dry summer.

READ MORE: B.C. ranchers struggle as drought sends hay prices soaring

READ MORE: B.C. farmers facing feed, hay shortages amid drought, wildfires


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Nicole Pressey, the Quesnel-area’s regional agrologist for the B.C. government, holds discussions with farmers about the field and business consequences of 2023’s drought. (Tracey Roberts photo - Quesnel Cariboo Observer)

Frank Peebles

About the Author: Frank Peebles

I started my career with Black Press Media fresh out of BCIT in 1994, as part of the startup of the Prince George Free Press, then editor of the Lakes District News.
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