"Wet. More wet, windy."

That's Emiline Farms owner Curtis Sims describing the conditions with which he's grappling at their farm. 

"It's a tough-going spring any way you look at it," says Sims. "There was a window two or three weeks ago that was a little better, and we got quite a bit of spraying done. On the roll crops -- the corn and the soybeans -- you often do multiple passes. So, we're really heavily bogged. You're going to have to fight through on the second or third pass on those crops. As for fungicides, everybody seems to be hiring airplanes. They work pretty good with the plane that way, and you're not in the mud."

As far as damage to crops is concerned, Sims notes that will occur if you don't get the weeds. He says weeds suppress what is there. 

"The wheat looks surprisingly good. I don't know how, altogether, but it's the best crop of them all. Canola is starting to flower; the earlier crop. Some spots are pretty good, but others are weak; they're just waterlogged so badly. Of course, being right in the water, there's nothing there. The soybeans are supposed to be the toughest crop there is for water; they're being challenged. You can see the colour kind of yellowing off in some areas, and so on. There are some significant areas. It doesn't mean they're dead, but it means they won't do as well. Soybeans on the higher ground are not bad. Some lower grounds are, of course, washed out completely."


He adds the corn quality is up and down. 

"It goes from zero to kind of yellow, and half the normal height to normal height, and back down again." 

To see things improve, Sims explains heat and sunshine would do the trick.

"That's the only answer, plus struggling along to try and spray as best you can, one way or another. There'll be ruts left in the field in places from the sprayers and you have to bump through in the fall and work in again. That's always one thing but that's one of the prices to pay." 

Although it's not unheard of, Sims says it's very unusual for this part of the world to worry about mud and water.  Usually, he adds, it's too dry. 

"That's been the history of my farm. It's too dry and every tenth of an inch or two-tenths of an inch counts now. If you're talking to your neighbours, you don't even mention it. Unless it's over an inch, it's not even worth talking about. That's one of the ways that things have changed. This is not unprecedented. It's happened before and we got through. The crop kind of came through, but it was a little suppressed. It wasn't quite what it should be."

He describes it as having too many zeroes when you're in school writing a test. Sims compares it to being in school when one test drops you down lower than you usually fare, and it takes all year to make that back up with stronger results. 

"A field is a little bit like that. You've got to go from being drowned right out and then a fringe around this week. It takes an awful lot of good product to ever make it back. Actually, you never make it right back."