Heavy rain impacts our crops!
It is the rainy season in many parts of Vietnam and it will continue for a few more months. We need rain for our produce to grow, however too much rain can create some serious issues for the crop. During the rainy season crops available one day may have been destroyed overnight and simply not be available. It is a nuisance that has affected farmers for centuries and will continue to do so as long as we farm the conventional way.
We wanted to look into the effects heavy rain and flooded fields can have on crops allowing us to better understand what we are dealing with:
– When fields are flooded, it can prove difficult for farmers to even access their fields with the necessary equipment.
– The growth of the plant is at stake – a fundamental requirement for plants to grow is the oxygen in the soil which is needed for respiration. Oxygen is critical for the roots, the development of the plants and their nutrient intake.
– During flash floods or extended heavy downpour the plants energy production can be reduced with as much as 95% and in the worst case leaving the plant to die.
– The submerging of plants – extreme water conditions can also lead the plants to be submerged in water for an extended period of time in some cases causing devastating losses as the leaves are not able to exchange gases (carbon dioxide and oxygen). In these cases crops can be ruined overnight.
– Long-term effects – the wet conditions will also have a negative effect on the nutrient content in the soil leaching in particular nitrogen from the soil. In these cases the farmer may face a reduction in the yield.
– Mold and bacteria – soil left wet for too long is prone to developing mold or catching a fungus. This can be transferred from the soil into the plants.
As much as we rely on rain – it can also become too much. We will never experience constant “perfect” growing conditions although some years tend to be better than others. What has changed is our possibilities to diversify our crops and work with the weather to limit the damage not only from a farming viewpoint, but also on a financial level.
As always, we are amazed by all the hard work our smaller family farms are doing to serve us all-natural fresh produce. We do not begin to understand how frustrating farming can be at times, but we truly do know and taste the outstanding outcome of their hard work!