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Saskatchewan farmers look skyward as drought conditions persist

WATCH ABOVE: Some much-needed precipitation brought rain relief to parts of Saskatchewan this weekend, but not enough to ease drought conditions.

Farmer Dick Wellman is patiently watching the skies as he looks for signs of Mother Nature’s most valuable resource.

“We need moisture,” Wellman said. “This is the driest of the dry.”

Wellman has owned a half-acre of land just outside of Regina since the early ’90s.

READ MORE: Vancouver Island, Fort Nelson regions under Level 3 drought conditions

The organic farmer grows wheat, barley, peas and other crops on his property.

“I’ve had three-tenths of an inch of rain since seeding, so [the crop] needs a drink of water,” Wellman said.

Wellman is one of many farmers looking skyward as drought conditions take hold of the province.

Saskatoon and Moose Jaw had the driest spring ever recorded for the cities.

READ MORE: Farmers call for strong political response to expanding trade obstacles for Canada

Other parts of the province were nearly as dry as Swift Current, North Battleford and Key Lake experienced their third-driest spring, while Regina posted its eighth-driest spring.

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However, an optimistic mid-June forecast offered a glimpse of rain relief, but in some areas of the province, it never arrived.

“We were in this dry slot that extended right through southern and central Saskatchewan,” Global News meteorologist Peter Quinlan said.

Up to 65 millimeters of rain fell in parts of Saskatchewan from June 14-16 while Regina received only trace amounts.

READ MORE: Saskatchewan weather outlook: more rain on the way

Quinlan says more than 200 millimeters of rain is needed to help ease drought conditions in southern Saskatchewan.

“Regina has only seen three per-cent of the normal amount of moisture in June which is normally the wettest month of the year,” Quinlan added.

As the summer season approaches, Wellman remains optimistic with the forecast calling for more precipitation in the coming weeks.

“It will come,” Wellman said. “The rain will come.”

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