Saskatchewan Farmers Expect a Wet Winter After a Drought-Ravaged Summer | The Canadian News

Saskatchewan’s first gust of winter will also be the first substantial rainfall that many farmers have seen in a long time.

Corey Loessin can see the impact of the prolonged drought on his property south of Radisson. A canoe that is normally used to water the garden has barely a foot of water.

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“It was a pretty dry season. We have about four inches total here (on the farm), ”he said.

Some precipitation is on its way in the form of snow. Environment Canada has issued snow advisories and special weather statements covering parts of central and southern Saskatchewan.

Loessin’s farm could see freezing rain and up to 4 inches of snow Thursday morning.

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“Snow in winter will be a good thing. If we get some, that will help, ”he said. “I think it’s dry enough that the ground doesn’t freeze and the snow gets soggy.”

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This year, the area west of Saskatoon received about a fifth of the rainfall it normally receives, said Loessin, who is also a member of the Saskatchewan Pulse Growers board of directors.

With the dry conditions, Loessin said it produced yields that were about a third of its 10-year average.

Ian Boxall, a farmer from the Tisdale area, brought in about half the bushels he normally makes.

“I think it would be fair to say that most of the province had half a crop or less,” said Boxall, vice president of Saskatchewan Agricultural Producers.

Both growers have relied on reserve moisture in recent growing seasons, utilizing the limited moisture they had.

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“This year, we started to feel the fact that our reserves were low,” Boxall said. “My fear is that next year will be even worse.”

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While some farmers have found financial support through the Saskatchewan Crop Insurance Corporation, livestock producers have required more government support.

In August, the Saskatchewan government announced a $ 119 million grant to livestock producers under the AgriRecovery program. As of Monday, the 2021 Canada-Saskatchewan Drought Response Initiative has received nearly 8,700 applications, representing about 1.24 million animals.

The initiative pays $ 200 per head of cattle for affected producers.

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