How much would more accurate weather forecasts be worth to farmers? Environment Canada is now providing seven-day forecasts, but there’s only human input on the first day of the forecast and usually for only the first 12 hours. The rest of the forecast comes completely from computer models. Computer modeling has limitations. An experienced human can adjust the computer assumptions and come out with a much more realistic forecast. Bob Cormier of Saskatoon is one of the few people working for Environment Canada in the province. He notes forecasts are generated with the general public in mind rather than farmers. And he says there’s no plan in plan to increase the usefulness of the forecast for producers. For years, Environment Canada has operated with a skeleton staff. The initial indignation over staffing cuts many years ago failed to convince the federal government to revisit the decision. However, a relatively small extra investment could still provide a substantial improvement in the weather forecasts from Environment Canada. I’m Kevin Hursh.

Kevin Hursh, PAg, CAC