Dry conditions in southern Sask. cause concern for agriculture producers

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Dry conditions in southeastern Saskatchewan have experts concerned about what this might mean for farmers and producers.

This winter Saskatchewan received an average 68.8 mm by the start of May. According to Environment Canada, southeast Saskatchewan has recieved 36.5 mm in 2021 so far.

Agriculture and Agri-food Canada said that the snowfall in central Saskatchewan over the last two weeks is not enough to turn things around.

“It certainly provided moisture to the top soil moisture layers. This helps getting the seed to germinate once they get in the ground. But it won’t recover any of the drought impacts that we have started to see this year,” said Trevor Hadwen, agro-climate specialist at Agriculture and Agri-food Canada.

Although precipitation level have been low, Hadwen said that there still is a chance for things to turn around come June. Meanwhile, dry and cool conditions could affect pastures and hayfields. This often leads to more grass fires.

Livestock and feed specialist, Jenay Werle recommends that producers begin planning for strategies managing pastures, hay fields and winter feeding crops. “For producers this might involve things like more annual crop rotation, more managed controlled raising of farm animals, or perhaps selling animals early to ensure they have enough feed year round,” said Werle.

Werle encouraged producers to test their water sources and to contact their local ministry of agriculture offices to learn more about testing their water for livestock use.