Officially, the fall season starts on September 22nd, although we are already seeing much cooler temperatures and rainfall to start September. This is a welcome sight for areas still smoldering from this year’s wildfire season, but it also signals the coming rainy season that will last well into next spring. Protecting BC farms from heavy rainfall is something every farmer thinks about. Some rain is welcome, but we are sure to see sustained periods of heavy rainfall that can cause problems for the local agriculture industry.
Until the ground hardens with frost, there is always something growing in BC. Even then, farmers are harvesting grapes to make BC’s famous ice wine. Here are just some of the many current crops in season for September:
The most common method for protecting BC farms from heavy rainfall is an adequate drainage system. Heavy rainfall can erode soil, damage plants and farm structures if not managed properly. Adequate drainage means maintaining watercourses by removing sediment that accumulates over time. This also means clearing debris from channels, culverts and trash screens.
In-ditch conservation practices help control the flow of water and debris. A low-grade weir can slow the flow of water to reduce its ability to erode banks, dykes and other critical water retention systems. A low-grade weir can be as simple as using large rocks piled up in a drainage ditch to slow down the flow of water.
In the fall and winter, water levels are sure to rise in ditches, creeks, rivers and storm drains all over the Lower Mainland. In the past you have likely heard about how close the Fraser River has come to spilling over into surrounding farmland. This is a real concern for the entire agriculture industry and proper flood-planning can make a huge difference in the face of a never-ending rainstorm.
Maintaining proper irrigation and water flow is a back-breaking task made much easier with the aid of tough and resilient farm equipment. Tractors, loaders and digging implements designed to work in the roughest terrain are an absolute requirement for BC’s agriculture industry.