Moisture conditions will soon become a big issue on the western side of Saskatchewan. The latest crop report from the Ministry of Agriculture shows topsoil moisture on cropland is short from North Battleford to Swift Current and west to Alberta. Two spots are mapped as very short – an area from Leader to Eatonia and another from Kindersley to Dodsland. The cool spring has masked some of the moisture shortage. The precipitation maps published by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada paint a more disturbing picture. Since April 1, most of west central Saskatchewan – everything west of a line from Saskatoon to Elbow has had less than 40 per cent of normal precipitation. The balance of the western side of the province has had between 40 and 60 per cent of normal precip. Most western regions came into the spring with poor to fair subsoil moisture, so there isn’t much reserve to draw upon. As temperatures increase to more normal readings and as the crop starts growing, precipitation will soon become critical. The lack of moisture is already doing irreparable harm to hay and pasture production. I’m Kevin Hursh.

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Kevin Hursh, PAg, CAC