‘It’s going to take some sunshine’: producers waiting out pesky snowfall to get into the field

Yorkton, Sask. –

It’s been a long winter for many, and the snow just isn’t stopping for Saskatchewan producers looking to get into their fields.

Late snowfall, including a major blast of winter this past week, has made for some challenges for farmers.

“We’re never going to turn down moisture,” said Jordan Lindgren, a fourth-generation farmer near Norquay. “Especially, after coming off of probably the driest year that we’ve experienced — or that I’ve experienced … I don’t believe it’s been super beneficial. Just in trying to get prep work ready… It’s nice to help. I know there’s guys out there that are suffering.”

Lindgren said typically, he likes to get into the fields in the first week of May but that’s not likely to happen in 2022.

“If things turn on, we can get going in the next couple of weeks. But it’s going to take some sunshine, for sure,” Lindgren said.

According to agriculture consultant and Cabri-area producer Kevin Hursh, different areas across southern Saskatchewan are in much different spots as we approach seeding time. He said much of the western side of Saskatchewan is still very dry.

“Moisture was very low going into winter and snowfall amounts were pretty minimal … but as you go east in the province, especially to southeastern Saskatchewan, that had more snow all winter, but then was also hit with a number of recent snowstorms,” he said.

Hursh said he’s seen snow as late as early June. Although the late moisture is welcomed by Saskatchewan producers, sometimes it doesn’t have the lasting effect on soil moisture as a nice spring rainfall.

“Snow is always a funny entity, in it depends how much it comes with (wind). Is it just banged up in the tree rows and farmsteads? Does it remain on the field? And also, it’s very difficult to measure just how much moisture is in snow,” said Hursh.

The agriculture expert also added there’s a ton of time from now until the crops are in the bin — and anything can happen.

“It was this time last year, it was actually southeast Saskatchewan that looked drier than everybody else. Here in the southwest, we thought we had a decent start. And then the way the year turned out, much of the southeast had close to an average crop, where most of the southwest was absolutely devastated by drought. So, how you start out isn’t always how you end,” Hursh said.

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