Farmers in Essex County, Ont. are hoping for a "million-dollar rain" as the region faces its driest month of May on record in more than 150 years.
Peter Kimbell, warning preparedness meteorologist with Environment Canada, says the area has only seen 23 millimetres of rain this month.
"April was pretty wet, but not May," he said.
"If you go back all the way back to the 1800s, 1870 had an equivalent low amount of rain, 23 millimetres."
Environment Canada forecasts show a week of hot, sunny weather for Windsor and Essex County, with temperatures hovering between 28 and 30 degrees for much of the week. There's a chance of rain in the forecast for Saturday, when temperatures are expected to rise to 31 degrees.
Tanya Mitchell is a winemaker and co-owner of Sprucewood Shores Estate Winery in Amherstburg, Ont.
She says extremely dry weather at this time of year can cause stress to the growing vines.
"They still have to grow to the very top of the trellis," said Mitchell.
"If there's no water, then they will stress, they will potentially still fruit and and still produce a crop, but it won't be the best crop. It will be less ripe and it won't have the flavours you're looking for, won't have the depth and concentration."
Sprucewood Shores recently installed drip irrigation that pulls from a pond on the property, she said, in a bid to take a bit more control in the face of climate change.
Christina Mallaby, a farmer at Hidden Haven Farms in Harrow, Ont., says although not ideal because it's labour intensive, they're able ability to irrigate their crops, including raspberries and tomatoes.
"Long-term, I mean if we have a really dry summer, I'll be looking at reduced production for sure, stunted growth, less output with the vegetables and the fruits, the flowers," Mallaby said.
They're taking other measures to keep plants moist, she says, including adding straw on top of soil to improve water retention.
Brendan Byrne's family has been farming in the region for more than 100 years, he says, and they are currently growing soybeans and wheat.
The Essex farmer, who's also the chair of the Grain Farmers on Ontario, says he thinks every farmer would love to see a "nice gentle rain" that comes and stays for a day or so.
"We always refer to it as the million-dollar rain," said Byrne.
"That rain really sets you up for some form of success later on in the year."
He says precipitation would help move things along a little quicker.
"The crop is coming [in] but it's very slow to come out of the ground, just because of the lack of moisture over the last few weeks."
If the dry stretch persists a few more weeks, Byrne says there's the possibility crops might not be as robust, but as a farmer he knows it's better to look on the bright side.
"You're at the mercy of the weather, so you could either [make it] the bane of your existence, or you can say, 'You know what? It's part of the whole deal and eventually it'll turn around in our favour.'"