On Wednesday, September 30th despite the rain and cold, a large group of dairy farmers stood united and strong against the TPP (Trans-Pacific Partnership).
The TPP could see the dairy industry opened up to American milk producers. 12 Pacific Rim member countries were set to meet in Atlanta to discuss the topic this week. Many different demonstrations have been taking place all over the country to show the concern that dairy farmers have.
The protest was held at the US/Canadian border in Herdman, central to the Chateauguay Valley. The dairy producers of the Haut-Saint-Laurent organized “Operation Tailgate” to call out the Canadian Government and to remind them of their commitments to the protection of supply management within the current negotiations of the TPP. Other goals of the demonstration were to remind the Canadian Government that the protection of supply management means also to enforce the already signed agreement by making sure that, the imports of dairy products are done according to the parties and rates established.
Was last week like summer? Ormstown weatherman Peter Finlayson says a definite "yes" as we had four consecutive record days from September 16th to the 19th. The summer-like weather was preceded by 55 mm of rain (2") on the weekend of September 12th. How warm was it? September so far is averaging 24.7 HU per day when the 10-year average is only 18.6 HU. Heat units for the season now stand at 3,090 which is 150 above normal. The corn and soybeans have been drying down rapidly even though there hasn't been a hint of frost or even cool nights to speak of. Haying and baling straw have been continuing pretty much uninterrupted, cannery corn has been coming off without difficulty and those few farms that have planted winter wheat can see good establishment already.
It was back to wet weather this past week, reports Ormstown weatherman Peter Finlayson. There was 40 mm of precipitation, mostly toward the end of the week, after a two week stretch with very little rain. The heat units were 302 for the first 12 days of September, with the monthly normal being 559 HU, so the month looks like it will be warmer than average. The total to date (since May 9th) is 2,922 HU, which is 107 HU above the ten-year average.
Peter also noted that despite our daily sense that the summer was average or even cool, the season was in fact warmer than average. There have been 16 days over 30°C, with two of those in September. Although there were only three days with 30 HU or higher (which is about maximum for one day), there were fewer cooler nights, especially in August and early September, so this helped to raise the overall accumulation of heat. Peter also noted that he took a tube paddle on the Chateauguay River, an annual event he delays for as long as possible to enjoy the activity with the warmest possible water. He reports the river water to indeed be warm but also pleasantly fresh even though the water level wasn't high.
Ormstown weatherman Peter Finlayson reports that the first week of September was "more of the same" - sunny, warm and very little precipitation. Heat units (HU) for the first five days of the month were 122, which means the month is already running 30% warmer than normal, since the average for September is usually 559 HU. The total heat units since May 9th now stand at 2,620 which is 28 more than the ten-year average. It's getting dry after a summer of regular downpours, but no one is complaining as there have been some excellent 3rd and 4th cuts of hay on the ground and other crops are ripening beautifully. August turned out to be normal with an average temperature of 20.6°C; a half degree above the ten-year average, and average precipitation with 3.3 inches or 84 mm just above normal for rain for the past decade. In brief, May was an excellent start to the cropping season, June was well below normal for heat units and July and August were just enough above average to leave us slightly ahead of the game heading into fall.
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Ormstown weatherman, Peter Finlayson, reports that last week was wonderful with warm but moderate temperatures and almost no precipitation. Farmers were out making hay while the sun shined - literally! Heat units for August ended up being about normal bringing the seasonal total to 2,568 which are +26 overall. Abundance is the word so far for many crops: the combining of cereals is almost done with large windrows of straw in most fields, and the cannery has so much sweet corn it has had to leave some standing in the fields as it can't process it all! Apple season is now in full swing with large, crisp and plentiful apples on the trees (for those who were lucky enough to miss the hail earlier in the season).