Drought sends mustard production in steep decline

Mustard production projected by Statistics Canada shows a decline of almost 50 percent from a year ago. However, Richard Marleau, chair of the Saskatchewan Mustard Development Commission, said the numbers could have been far worse. Mustard is grown mainly in southern Saskatchewan and southern Alberta, two areas hit hardest by drought. That accounts for most […] Read more

Dry conditions in Sask. set grass, fence lines, combine ablaze

Feeding will begin much earlier at Six Mile Ranch this fall after fire swept through stockpiled winter grazing acreage last week. “We have lost about 11 miles of fence and about 2,800 acres of grass ourselves,” said Clayton Gibson of the Red Angus operation at Fir Mountain, Sask. “Neighbours have lost probably another 800 acres […] Read more

‘We’re trying to prolong the agony’

Drought in many parts of Western Canada means ranchers will need to act innovatively this summer to avoid problems next year. Importing feed is one option, says Saskatchewan Agriculture specialist Lorne Klein. “There are numerous products out there you can truck in,” he said. “But then it’s a matter of the price.” He said the […] Read more

Managing fertility after a drought

We are all aware of the impact of drought on crop yields, but what is happening in the field goes far beyond faulty plants and can last for several years, even when precipitation returns to otherwise normal levels. Drought causes several soil processes to slow down or virtually stop. The two most pronounced effects of […] Read more

The big dry

Relentless heat continued to take a toll on crops in western and southern Saskatchewan this week, turning what might have been an above average harvest into one that will be average at best in some areas and below average in others. In southwestern Saskatchewan, daytime temperatures peaked at more than 38 C July 30, capping […] Read more

Heat and drought rewriting 2017 wheat story

(Editor’s note: the print version of the story has incorrect information about the amount of rain in Saskatchewan. The story has been corrected here.) My car thermometer hit 38 C July 16 as I drove an area around Moose Jaw, Sask., although Environment Canada said the official high was 34.9 C. Whatever it was, it […] Read more

Canola suffers in northern U.S. drought

It’s been incredibly dry in southwestern North Dakota this year. The area is so parched that locals can cite the last time it rained. “Right in our region, around Hettinger … we had our last significant rain in April,” said John Rickertsen, a North Dakota State University extension agronomist in Hettinger, 20 kilometres from the […] Read more

Drought predicted for Alberta this summer

Farmers in central and northern Alberta should brace for drought this summer, according to AccuWeather. “We think it’s going to be a very warm summer,” said Canadian weather expert Brett Anderson. It is also going to be a dry summer. June will have near normal precipitation but July and August will turn dry as a […] Read more

Ontario gets rain, but damage done

DRESDEN, Ont. — Southern Ontario’s drought broke in mid-August with widespread rain, but it was too late for the corn crop. “It looks like an average or below average crop for most of the guys. Now we’re seeing disease and pest issues with things like the western bean cutworm and corn smut,” said Moe Agostino, […] Read more

Peace region on verge of disaster

Pasture lands are stressed in many areas of northwestern Alberta, making it tough for producers to feed livestock

GRANDE PRAIRIE, Alta. — Terry Ungarian, a councillor with the County of Northern Lights, searches for the right word to describe the hay and pasture conditions in his area of northwestern Alberta. “The pasture and hay is a disaster, very stressed, non-existent,” said Ungarian. He estimated that hay yields are one-quarter to one-half of normal. […] Read more