Canada’s prairies are in desperate need of rain

The western United States and Canada’s prairie lands have one thing in common, they both need rain.

Fields across the Canadian prairies are among the driest on record, raising production risks in one of the world’s key growing regions for canola and spring wheat. Much of the area has received less than half its average rainfall, and there is not much rain in the forecast.

The president of Manitoba’s largest farm group says that if there was a time for low-till spring planting practices-- this is it.

According to Bill Campbell, “We have not, for the most part, started planting the crop yet. Producers need to conserve every bit of moisture that is in their soil at this particular time and not waste that moisture with tillage.”

A Canadian ag meteorologist says that precipitation levels in some areas are down 20 percent.

“I’ve never seen Manitoba so dry as I’ve seen it this particular spring, and really south-eastern prairies. Central Alberta, never been drier, maybe the second driest in 130 years,” David Phillips states. “Current conditions don’t give a ray of optimism for people who depend upon water.”

The Manitoba government has imposed burning restrictions across the southern and eastern parts of the province.