Nothing can make an agricultural columnist look more wrong than Mother Nature.
That singular fact has been brought back to slap me across the back of the head in the last couple of weeks.
In terms of a career writing this column which expands back more than a quarter of century now, I have learned that nature itself determines the yields and quality of crops far more than any effort made by farmers using the best technology supplied regarding varieties, equipment, fertilizer and sprays.
So I suppose when I typed just a few scant days ago a column suggesting this year farmers looked to be harvesting an average crop in spite of the June storm which impacted thousands of acres, I should have known I might have been jumping the gun a little.
A week later, I sit writing this on a Saturday afternoon, the sky dull gray with clouds in every direction, water still pooled in the low spots of the pavement, a reminder of a steady drizzle that welcomed those rising early.
It was the type of day farmers sit at the kitchen table, coffee cup in hand, lamenting, as they look out the window thinking of the wheat lying in the field.
Crops swathed when the poor weather strikes, and the cloud of the Saturday I wrote this was just another dreary day following on the heels of a near week of non-harvest friendly weather, crop conditions suffer.
The seed of cereal crops stain, and that means reduced grades, and with the decline, reduced grades.
And that is in eastern Saskatchewan.
Imagine the situation in southern Alberta where a rare September snow storm struck.
It is weather situations such as the torrential rains hitting several communities in the summer of 2010, the three-day deluge which flooded an extensive area at the end of June this year, and the recentsnow storm in Alberta which combine to create some disquiet in the minds of farmers.
We increasingly hear weather experts suggest the future norm will be extreme weather events, plow winds, tornadoes moving northward, out of season snow, and torrential rains. These are the things which impact crop yields and quality and remain beyond the ability of farmers to control.
If the extreme events occur more often, the gamble which is farming will be stacked a little bit more against the farmer.