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Quebec farmers say season is at stake due to rain, humidity

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No group relies more on the weather to earn a living than Quebec farmers and this year they've had to talk about the weather a lot.

The abundant amount of rain has harmed a variety of crops from hay to strawberries.

Saint-Eustache farmer Wayne Robinson is feeling the stress given that his livelihood this season is at stake.

"There’s nights I get up and 3:00 in the morning and I can’t return back to sleep," he said.

The problem is the constant rainy weather, and also the copious amounts of precipitation that has fallen.

While that's of great benefit to some vegetation that is thriving and as green as can be, the hay is so wet that weeds are infiltrating the crop, and some hay is turning yellow too early.

"It's like a disease getting into the hay," Robinson said.

Environment and Climate Change Canada issued a special weather statement for southern Quebec for Friday, calling for 30 and 50 millimetres of rain in some areas. 

His partner in life and on the land, farmer Karen Robinson, said they are having a hard time filling regular orders.

"We have clients, regular clients, every year that rely on us and depend on us and we’re not getting the hay to them. We only served one of our clients," she said.

The numbers tell a broader picture: overall sales are down by 80 per cent and show few signs of improving.

"We don’t see the window opening up to do any more," Wayne said.

"The ground is so saturated that even if you have a few days it’s not going to dry properly," her son, Kevin, explained.

WHEAT AND BERRIES IN TROUBLE

It doesn't end with hay; the wheat crop is also suffering, this time as a result of all the rain coupled with the hot temperatures.

"It can’t have humid, rainy weather like that day after day or else what’s going to happen is it’s going to start sprouting and it’s going to lose its value and worse comes to worst, you can even lose it all," said Wayne.

All the downpours have also hurt the strawberry and raspberry cultivators, according to Stéphanie Forcier, director of the Quebec Association of Strawberry and Raspberry Farmers.

"Depending on the areas in the province, there are several losses, we are talking about hundreds of thousands of dollars in losses," Forcier said.

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