PortageOnline's Farmer Appreciation Lunch took place earlier this month and we used the opportunity to find out from producers how their crops are looking so far this year. For many, the comments were the same: we need more rain.

Richard Bernat farms 1100 acres of wheat, oats, canola and soybeans in Ile des Chênes and says some neighbours have had more luck when it comes to precipitation.

"Right in our area, we've been missing all the rains, we've just been getting maybe a tenth to a couple-of-tenths (of an inch)," says Bernat. "No substantial rain since we put the crop in."

Canola-wise, Bernat notes there's a lot of staging 'all over the map', as it didn't receive enough rain after seeding. Otherwise, he's optimistic.

"The wheat is looking not bad. The cereals seem to take a little bit better, but the soybeans? We need a rain on them," says Bernat. "I'm glad it's cooled off for the last couple of weeks, because that hot weather was really hurting them."

Elsewhere, Dallas Stangl has 1500 acres, about two miles north of the Junction at Highways 1 and 16. He farms canola, wheat, flax, and alfalfa. Stangl says his canola also took a beating, and he believes they could use an inch of rain per week for the next few weeks.

"The wheat looks really good," says Stangl. "I haven't seen too many weeds, but there's been some fields that are weedy, but some look really good."

When asked if canola was a write-off, he says he won't do that. Stangl believes like any year, it can be a positive one. They just need a little bit of help from Mother Nature.

"There's good reason to be optimistic, I think," says Stangl. "The little bit of rain we did get, that helped our canola fields, but they're still not going to be anything you can write home about."