Local farmers remain cool despite late melt

By Nigel Maxwell
April 8, 2018 - 11:00am

Farmers in central and northeastern Saskatchewan may have a bone to pick with Old Man Winter as they face the real possibility of late seeding.

Some areas north and east of Prince Albert still have over two feet of snow on the ground, though Bob Reid, who farms in the Smeaton area, said conditions might not be as bad as some think.

"We never had our February thaw and it always drops," he said, adding he would be happy if he could get out in the field around May 10.

The Water Security Agency (WSA) said most of Saskatchewan received snowfalls well above normal levels in March, increasing the runoff potential across the province. With below normal temperatures expected across the province in mid-April, there is an increased risk of a rapid melt, which could result in high runoff and potentially some flood-related issues.

"I'm not that concerned because two years ago, if we remember, we got all that rain and snow in October and it didn't run off, so if we get some hot days it might surprise you," Reid said.

Ken Blocka, who farms near MacDowall, said he also remains optimistic about his upcoming crop year.

"We've had this before, where we've had the snow right until the end of April and all of a sudden it melted," he said. "We could have 30°C temperatures in May."

Blocka said he is just playing it by ear for now and staying patient.

The WSA has also reported some agricultural water supply issues began to emerge in late summer 2017. In southern Saskatchewan, where below-average 2018 runoff is projected, these water supply shortages may intensify and expand to additional areas.


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Garlic business growing in northeast Saskatchewan

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