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Western Canadian farmers look back on 2019

Western Canadian farmers look back on 2019

Mother Nature contributed to a challenging year, producers said

By Diego Flammini
Staff Writer

With less than two weeks before the calendar turns to 2020, many people are taking some time to reflect on the past year.

With that at top of mind, reached out to members of Western Canada’s ag community for their thoughts on how 2019 played out on their farms.

Anthony Nienhuis, a dairy and cash crop producer from Saskatoon, Sask., was pleased with how his 90 dairy cows performed throughout the year.

“Our cows are definitely producing a good volume of milk and are doing quite well,” he told “And, in terms of animal health, it’s been a very good year for us.”

Nienhuis was also satisfied with how his crops turned out despite multiple weather challenges.

“2019 was a tough year for a lot farmers because of a lack of moisture and the timing of the moisture we did get,” he said. “Our crops were able to finish, and we had some good forages. We were fortunate to get our crops in early, and that they were able to mature to the point where they were of high quality. The volume of crops was not exceptional but the quality for sure was.”

Weather was an obstacle for Alberta farmers too.

Dry conditions early on made it challenging for farmers to feed cattle.

“We had bad grass conditions for the cattle all year long,” Stuart Sommerville, a beef and cash crop producer from Endiang, Alta., told “Even though there was lots of feed grain around, it was tough to keep food in front of (the cattle) all summer long.”

The dry weather also contributed to good herd health, he said.

“One blessing of dry conditions is that we didn’t have to fight things like scours,” he said. “And last year, when we did our calving, we did it in a blizzard.”

Sommerville has a message for his fellow producers heading into the new year: stay optimistic.

 “Nothing stays bad forever,” he said. “For every farmer who had a bad year there’s one who had a good year. We all get our turn eventually and it’s just important to not let (bad times) wear you down.”

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