Drought, cool temperatures threaten crops
While Canadians across much of the country have complained about a summer of weird weather, farmers say the rollercoaster ride of temperatures is wreaking havoc on their crops.
In the west, it's been a bad summer for B.C. forest fires, but the threat they pose to local wineries is just beginning.
North of Kelowna, in B.C.'s wine-growing Okanagan region, the Terrace Mountain fire is still smoldering.
At the same time, winery crops are reaching a delicate point in their growth, when smoke in the air can more easily damage them.
"At the stage we're at, you can see the grapes are just starting to soften," Roger Wong, at Gray Monk Estate Winery, told CTV British Columbia.
In 2003, some wine makers in the area thought local crops had survived late-summer fires, until a smokiness appeared in their wine, making it unpleasant to drink and impossible to sell.
"We ended up having to discard the whole crop," Wong said, adding that in 2003, the fires hadn't begun by this point in the season.
While Kelowna residents said smoke had cleared from the air recently, it's expected to be hot, sunny and dry week, increasing the risk of the Terrace Mountain fire flaring up.
More than 2,000 fires have been recorded in B.C. since Apr. 1, spreading out across more than 1,100 square kilometres of land.
In Alberta, meanwhile, the province has been suffering through its worst drought in 80 years. The drought has been so severe in some areas that cattle have nothing to eat.
Cattle farmer Seth Barnfield told CTV News that he's going to have to sell off his cows because the land simply can't sustain them any longer.
"We may have to do like a lot of people, and just sell them all out," he said. "That's the way you look at it. It's getting pretty tough."
In Manitoba and Ontario, soggy summer weather and cool temperatures have stunted some crops and resulted in a shortened growing season.
While warmer temperatures have moved into parts of Ontario over the past few weeks, farmers in Manitoba are only weeks away from overnight frosts, which could further damage crops.
With files from CTV's Jill Macyshon