Honey producers put colonies away in good shape, but found them wanting this spring.  |  File photo

Cold spring hammers bees

Last fall Simon Lalonde had around 3,200 bee hives and things were looking good when the colonies were put away for the winter. By late April about 1,300 of those hives were dead or had too few bees to survive as a colony. “We had about a 41 percent (winter) loss…. That’s about double our […] Read more

The majority of Saskatchewan received much needed rain during the week ended June 4, which helped alleviate concerns over dry field conditions, according to the latest crop report from the Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture. | Paul Yanko photo

Saskatchewan sees rain as seeding nears completion: report

Winnipeg (CNS Canada) – The majority of Saskatchewan received much needed rain during the week ended June 4, which helped alleviate concerns over dry field conditions, according to the latest crop report from the Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture. Precipitation levels varied across the province, with some southwestern areas receiving very little, while many fields in […] Read more

Gary Hennings moves the auger back into place as he seeds hard red spring wheat south of Unity, Sask., May 25.  |  William DeKay photo

Timely rain gives good start to growing season

Many farmers were smiling last week after bouts of rain blanketed parts of the Prairies, allowing for what climate specialists say is a good start to the growing season. Farmers received 1 to 25 mm of rain in Alberta, as high as 125 mm in Saskatchewan and between 10 and 50 mm in Manitoba, according […] Read more


American forecast models, Weather Network models and Environment Canada computer models all point to a warmer than normal summer for most of Canada.
 | File photo

Sizzling summer on the Prairies

After 51 years at Environment Canada, David Phillips has made hundreds of seasonal forecasts. In some cases the predictions were a best guess, other forecasts were more certain. This year, he’s feeling confident it will be a warmer than usual summer in Canada and most forecasters are “singing from the same songsheet.” American forecast models, […] Read more

Irrigation in the Vauxhall, Alta. area. Alberta’s irrigation sector should be able to grow with few risks, suggests new research. | File Photo

Climate change poses low risks to irrigation

A study out of the University of Alberta looked to see if the province could meet its expansion goals

Despite climate change pressures, Alberta’s irrigation sector should be able to grow with few risks, suggests new research, as long as water supply doesn’t change too much and if new technologies are adopted. The research, conducted by the University of Alberta and funded by the Alberta Land Institute, looked to see if the province could […] Read more


A shortage of feed this spring may prompt ranchers to make plans to avoid the same thing next year.  | File photo

Prospect of dry year prompts future feed planning

With little feed left over and stressed pastures, beef specialists are requesting producers plan differently this spring to avoid shortages next winter. Long-range forecasts point to a warmer and drier growing season this year, so growing and gaining access to lots of feed could be challenging. As well, many pastures are currently stressed due to […] Read more

The Weather Network is forecasting a hot and dry summer for the Canadian Prairies with the exception of early June when it will be the opposite. | File photo

Prairie farmers face hot, dry summer

The Weather Network is forecasting a hot and dry summer for the Canadian Prairies with the exception of early June when it will be the opposite. Meteorologist Doug Gillham said for the most part the weather will be comparable to last summer and will follow the pattern established this spring. Widespread drought that is already […] Read more

After 51 years working for Environment Canada, David Phillips has seen a lot of weather. | File photo

Weather continues to amaze veteran forecaster

After 51 years working for Environment Canada, David Phillips has seen a lot of weather. The veteran weatherman has witnessed ice storms, spring blizzards and summers that never happened. Even with all that experience, Phillips is amazed by the conditions on the Prairies this spring, where the weather shifted from a freezing cold April to […] Read more


Amounts of precipitation varied across the province, with additional moisture still needed in many areas. The recent rains combined with warm temperatures have resulted in rapid germination, emergence and crop growth. | Michael Raine photo

Rain helping Manitoba crops but more still needed

Winnipeg – Most of Manitoba received rain which has helped with crop growth but more is still needed, according to the weekly crop report from Manitoba Agriculture, released May 28. Amounts of precipitation varied across the province, with additional moisture still needed in many areas. The recent rains combined with warm temperatures have resulted in […] Read more

Environment Canada's precipitation forecast for May-June-July 2018, based on 30-year averages.

Early predictions worsen drought concerns

Large portions of the Prairies could be facing another drought if Environment Canada’s spring and summer forecast comes to fruition. It is already bone dry in many regions and the forecast calls for a continuation of that weather pattern through much of Alberta, Saskatchewan and western Manitoba. “That is pretty ominous,” said David Phillips, senior […] Read more