By Karli Vezina
Do you have a favourite Canadian wine? You may want to stock up on it while you can because the future of agriculture in Canada could be in for some tough times. Between heat waves, droughts and heat domes, our summers are hitting feverish heights leaving crops in a precarious state.
We know that heat waves cause forest fires, dry out our lawns and make outside activities seem daunting, but what is this heat doing to our crops? It’s baking them, to put it simply, and it’s roasting our wine grapes too.
Farmers have been watching this disturbing trend with growing unease. As temperatures continue to soar everywhere, farmers already facing a reduction in harvest will start seeing even smaller yields as the sun bakes and shrinks their crops. This could change the landscape the entire agricultural industry nationwide.
Reuters reported on the wheat-shrinking situation in the Pacific Northwest of America where the heat is baking grains before they even leave the field. The intense heat shrinks the kernels giving farmers less to work with and eventually, less profit.
Wine could be the next big crop to be impacted by the hectic heat. The Huffington Post reported that vineyards on the West Coast of Canada have taken a beating over the last year but are still largely in tact, for now. Thankfully, the heatwave that hit BC in June didn’t damage the vineyards as the grapes were still small enough to be shaded by surrounding leaves. There are also concerns regarding blankets of smoke from wildfires changing the taste of those grapes but that has yet to be seen.
These tumultuous temperatures have everyone thinking. For farmers, their livelihood is at risk and for us, what will be the cost of eating and drinking well?