Late-summer frost has farmers scrambling to get crops harvested
MONCTON, N.B. -- A late-summer frost has farmers in some parts of the region scrambling to harvest their crops.
Sunday night's freezing temperatures put Christian Michaud is in a race against time after they killed the protective canopy of leaves over his crop of yellow beans in Bouctouche, N.B.
He had to pick them all on Monday.
"Harvest as much as possible today because it’s supposed to be cold again tonight," Michaud said. "If the cloud cover doesn’t come in time, that could be it. There is no second chance. One more frost and that’s going to be it. The field is going to be done."
Early in the year, Michaud wasn’t even sure he’d have any crop to harvest. A severely dry July and August turned his strawberry fields to dust. Whatever grew has been picked.
"Most of the other crops, because of the season, because of the drought, it wasn’t that great of a crop to begin with so we actually got that harvested over the weekend," Michaud said.
Frost wasn’t an issue at the Pioneer Mountain Vineyard in Moncton, N.B. Elevation spared the grapes from the cold.
"We found out it is the highest vineyard in eastern Canada," Shaun Fraser said. "The frost passes us by because we’re so high. It settles in the valley, the river valley below us."
Fraser says they were fortunate to escape the frost. But the drought has hit everyone.
"Our yield is down probably close to 30 per cent but the quality of our wine is way up there," Fraser said. "We are harvesting ahead of time. Everything is going to taste just so great."
It's a small consolation in a season many farmers will be glad to have behind them.