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If the early estimates are correct, Canada’s canola crop will be at least 10 bu. per acre below Agriculture Canada’s forecast and possibly a whole lot more. | File photo

Canola yields shrivel

Ottawa’s optimistic forecast met with shock as those on the ground expect more dire outcome

Canada’s national average canola yield will be 10 to 20 bushels per acre below normal this year, according to estimates from farmers and provincial governments. Alberta is the first province to publish an official estimate. It is forecasting 24.9 bu. per acre, well below the previous five-year average of 41.7. It cautions that its estimate […] Read more

Lentils, Warner County, Alberta | photo by Adam Vossepoel (@voss_ag)

Drought 2021

Historic drought challenges farmers

These are trying times for many Prairie producers, with withered crops and parched pastures across wide swaths of the growing region. To help keep you informed about the issue this page will be continually updated with the latest drought-related news and solutions you can use produced by The Western Producer’s team of professional reporters and […] Read more

Heat blast can have terrible effects on canola plants. The photo on the right shows what plants should look like, with pods forming, while the one on the left shows what happens with heat blast, when pods don’t form. | Robert Arnason photos

Precipitation statistics reveal year of struggles

Heat has also been a problem, and market analysts believe canola yields could be 50 percent of normal on many farms

Winnipeg is short an entire foot of moisture. In a normal year, the city and much of eastern Manitoba receives about 520 millimetres of precipitation in the form of rain and snow. However, from Aug. 1, 2020, to July 15, 2021, the Environment Canada weather station in Winnipeg has recorded 232 mm of precipitation, which […] Read more

Producers who irrigate say this year shows the value of having access to water. | File photo

Irrigation pivots work overtime this summer

Most irrigators have had adequate access to water during the drought, and many say their crops remain in good shape

Pivots have run nearly non-stop this summer on the portion of Anthony Eliason’s farm near Outlook, Sask., that is irrigated. About a quarter of Golden Dee Farms, or 1,250 acres, is irrigated and typically canola, dry beans, flax, fababeans and wheat are planted on that land. This year, Eliason said he seeded higher value crops […] Read more

Most crops emerged well in Alberta’s Peace River country this spring but have stalled this summer due to lack of rain. | Randy Vanderveen photo

Extreme heat wave takes toll on Peace country crops

What started as a promising spring with good crop emergence is now looking like it may be one of the worst crops ever in Alberta’s Peace River country. “It is the hottest, driest, without-rain year we have ever seen,” said Rycroft farmer Bryan Woronuk. “Without rain at this point we will suffer large yield losses.” […] Read more

The hail storm that hit southern Alberta July 5 passed by Glenwood, Alta., about 8:15 p.m. menacing crops and leaving the town of Cardston beaten and dented.  |  Steve Connelly photo

Hailstorm hammers southern Alberta

Crops damaged as hail and heavy rain wreaks havoc on the town of Cardston and farms as far south as the U.S. border

An intense storm of rain and hail ranging in size from peas to quarters caused flooding in Cardston, Alta., and destroyed crops as far south as the U.S. border. “There’s lots of farmers that have lost their crop — hay crop or grain crop — anywhere the hail hit,” said LeNark Duce, public works foreman […] Read more

The Saskatchewan Stock Growers Association and Agricultural Producers Association of Saskatchewan have both issued news releases saying help is needed now. | Map via

Sask. groups call for drought aid

Two Saskatchewan farm organizations are calling on governments for drought relief. The Saskatchewan Stock Growers Association and Agricultural Producers Association of Saskatchewan have both issued news releases saying help is needed now. The SSGA said cattle producers know how to plan for and manage drought but consecutive years of it have forced their hands. “Pastures […] Read more

Hail the size of golf balls, or about 4.5 centimetres across, fell in Central Butte, Mankota and Scout Lake, while toonie to ping-pong ball sized hail was recorded east of Strasbourg and near Raymore. | Twitter/@UplandAllison photo

Sask. hit by more bad weather

Severe weather in Saskatchewan July 11 resulted in heavy rain, large hail and strong winds, according to Environment Canada. Around Last Mountain Lake, large hail caused significant damage to property and crops. Near Assiniboia, some suggested plow winds went through. The peak wind gust in the Assiniboia area was 119 kilometres per hour. Other notable […] Read more

Temperatures in the upper 30 C and no rain dominated the days leading up to Canada Day on the Canadian Prairies and the July 4 U.S. Independence Day in the U.S. northern Plains. | File photo

Market focuses on weather, but also watches biofuel news

A record-breaking heat wave and a bullish United States Department of Agriculture acreage report caused crop markets to soar last week. These developments for now have put into the background market-dampening questions about the new U.S. administration’s commitment to biofuels. Temperatures in the upper 30 C and no rain dominated the days leading up to […] Read more

Even the dogs went in search of shade last week as temperatures reached the high 30s C to mid-40s C across much of the Prairies, but this is not the first time that heat waves have caused problems for the region. | Mike Sturk photo

Hotter nights cause problems for crops

The historic, unprecedented, scorching, roasting and record-setting temperatures across Western Canada in late June and early July have been bad news for canola crops on the Prairies. Canola prefers cool weather during the crop’s flowering stage because prolonged temperatures above 30 C usually cause heat blast, which shortens the bloom period and reduces yield. Temperatures […] Read more