Saskatchewan residents don’t need official data to tell them the winter of 2012-13 has been one of the snowiest ever.
They have been shoveling, plowing and blowing snow since it arrived early last fall.
Sheldon Kyle, of Kenray Ranch near Redvers, said calving season has been interesting to say the least, as one storm after another added to the snow piles.
“The main challenge is our calving barn was backed up for two days,” he said after a recent storm. “Just because of the weather we couldn’t get the newborns out.”
That turned out to be a good thing when more bad weather hit.
Digging out gates and roads became near-daily chores.
The Kyle family uses bale grazing to feed but only until calving begins, so the cows were already in the yard by the time the snow really began to accumulate.
“There were a couple of days we couldn’t get feed to the heifers,” he said.
Mostly, he said, the excess snow added more work to the regular chores that all farmers and ranchers have to do.
Gina Ressler, meteorologist with The Weather Network, said winter isn’t yet done. The three-month outlook suggests active weather through March and into April and the possibility of more snow.
Few farmers would turn away moisture, particularly after last fall.
“We came into the winter a little bit drier,” she noted. “We’ve made up for some of the dryness across the Prairies through the winter. You have a relatively healthy snow pack especially across Saskatchewan.”
However, all this snow must melt. Both Ressler and Kyle said some water challenges are likely ahead.
Meanwhile, Regina residents last week were focused on whether the city would beat its 1955-56 snowfall record of 194.6 centimetres. It turns out the weather station that recorded that is no longer operating.