Hay yields this year are going to be well below normal in a lot of areas and cow-calf producers will be scrambling for winter feed. Paul Jefferson, vice-president of the Western Beef Development Centre uses springtime weather data from 16 different sites in a statistical model to predict hay yields. He says the cold, dry weather from April through June has cut hay production. His prediction calls for hay yields to be about average around Yorkton, Lloydminster, Meadow Lake and Prince Albert. Below average hay yields are predicted for Saskatoon, Swift Current, Estevan, North Battleford, Maple Creek, Broadview and Wynyard. Well below average hay production is forecast for Regina, Moose Jaw, Rosetown, Kindersley and Nipawin. Moose Jaw is a surprise because moisture there has been pretty good. However, Jefferson says the weighting of the precipitation in the model points to hay production that’s well below average in the entire region from Regina to Kindersley. The short hay crop comes after a long, cold winter which used up more feed reserves than usual. Jefferson believes hay supplies for the upcoming winter will be tight across the province and he’s urging producers to start planning ahead. I’m Kevin Hursh.

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Kevin Hursh, PAg, CAC