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Lush fields greet a woman and her son as they walk up a hill on the Brant Hutterite Colony near Brandt, Alta. Some parts of Alberta have been too wet with nearly 200,000 acres going unseeded, while others have recorded ideal moiture this year.  |  Mike Sturk photo

Northern Alberta farmers struggle with wet conditions

Persistent wetness in parts of northern Alberta has forced grain growers to leave hundreds of thousands of acres unseeded this spring, according to the provincial crop insurance program. Preliminary estimates suggest that more than 200,000 acres of insured cropland in the areas northeast and northwest of Edmonton and north of Highway 16 between Edmonton and […] Read more

The Little Saskatchewan River has also cut out both ends of Kirkhams Bridge northwest of Brandon. | Twitter/@Aggeez28 photo

Heavy rain puts Manitoba dam at risk

After more than 200 millimetres of rain in less than 72 hours, a dam in western Manitoba may be at risk. In a news release, issued Canada Day evening, the province announced that Rivers Dam could suffer a “structural failure.” “The Manitoba government does not have confidence in the Rivers Dam. The dam is facing […] Read more

Farmers in the area may struggle to get to their fields this summer because municipalities and the province will need to repair dozens of washed out roads and replace culverts. | Twitter/@RonKrahn photo

Manitoba storm leaves farmers stranded

Farm buildings and other infrastructure north of Brandon were severely damaged June 28-29 after a storm brought high winds and 120 to 160 millimetres of rain to the region. Farmers in the area may struggle to get to their fields this summer because municipalities and the province will need to repair dozens of washed out […] Read more


Matt Sawyer’s wheat crop was devastated June 13 after a hailstorm swept through an area north of Calgary. This is what his field looked like the day after hailstorm.  |  Matt Sawyer photo

Vicious hailstorm slams Alberta

The crops were looking good this year on Matt Sawyer’s farm near Acme, Alta. The barley went in early and was thriving. The canola was spreading its leaves. On June 13 it was gone, wiped out in a vicious storm that fired rain and hailstones, some of them baseball-sized, over a 20-minute-long siege. “All over […] Read more

Soil erodes and collects north of Lumsden, Sask., which is one of the areas that has been exceptionally dry this spring .  |  Mike Raine photo

Prairie dryness persists

Farmers through parts of southern Saskatchewan and Manitoba are looking for more rain after weeks of windy, dry conditions have depleted soil moisture. Even after a system moved through last weekend the rainfall wasn’t enough to move some regions out of moderate drought conditions. Agroclimate specialist at Agriculture Canada Trevor Hadwen said the area of […] Read more


Accuweather predicts drought but other experts aren’t as gloomy.
 | File photo

Summer forecasts all over the map

Three major weather forecasters have three different outlooks for the Canadian prairie summer, a sign that there is low confidence with this year’s forecast, says one of the prognosticators. “That’s really what most people need to know is, hey, none of these guys know what they’re doing,” Drew Lerner, president of World Weather Inc., said […] Read more

Research has found that healthy soils are a bulwark against extreme weather such as flooding because they allow more water to infiltrate the soil.  |  File photo

Farmers can mitigate extreme weather: study

Regions with healthy soil, grasslands and wetlands are found better able to deal with damage from climatic extremes

Last year was a summer of extremes in Manitoba. It barely rained in June or July, which hammered hay production. Many farmers reported hay yields of 50 percent of normal or less, and there was a severe shortage of forage in some areas. Then it rained nearly every day in the second half of August […] Read more

When conditions shift from drought to flood and back to drought,

Farmers can reduce extreme weather damage: study

Last year was a summer of extremes in Manitoba. It barely rained in June or July, which hammered hay production. Many farmers reported hay yields of 50 percent of normal or less, and there was a severe shortage of forage in some areas. Then it rained nearly every day in the second half of August […] Read more


May is likely to throw a little bit of everything at prairie farmers trying to get the 2020 crop in the ground, say weather experts.
 | File photo

Mother Nature opens wide her bag of tricks

May is likely to throw a little bit of everything at prairie farmers trying to get the 2020 crop in the ground, say weather experts. “A little bit of rain, some sunshine, some more cold weather,” said Drew Lerner of World Weather Inc. “It’s going to be kind of just a general mix of weather […] Read more

With daily highs of -8 C and wind chills dipping into the – 20s, it's been a brutal spring across much of the Prairies. | Mike Sturk photo

Spring remains elusive — but hope is on the way

Spring, where are you? With daily highs of -8 C and wind chills dipping into the – 20s, it’s been a brutal spring across much of the Prairies. As evidence, Medicine Hat, Alta., is usually a pleasant spot in early April with daily highs of 10 to 13 C. Not this year. In the first […] Read more