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Sask. farmers could see relief from drought in coming weeks after abnormally dry April

Click to play video: 'Some farmers could see a break in the drought conditions with precipitation on the way' Some farmers could see a break in the drought conditions with precipitation on the way
WATCH: Saskatchewan is still seeing drought conditions as shown on the Canadian Drought Outlook maps. Meteorologist Peter Quinlan said, April has only seen 2 mm of rain compared to the normal 22 mm. However, more precipitation is on the way – Apr 18, 2022

It is that time of year when farmers are heading into spring seeding season but Mother Nature still needs to play catch up.

What was said to be the biggest snow storm in decades left behind plenty of snow for many southern parts of the province. Now there is more snow on the way and while many people are ready to put winter behind them, farmers are welcoming any extra moisture after last years’ drought.

Plenty of areas in the province are still seeing excessively dry conditions.

Read more: Saskatchewan farmers look to the future after months of drought

As of March 31, the Canadian Drought Outlook map showed dry to extreme conditions for central and southern areas of Saskatchewan.

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While their outlook map for the end of the month shows some improvement, moisture levels are still below average according to Global News meteorologist Peter Quinlan.

“We’ve only seen two millimetres of precipitation so far this April. Normally we would see 22 millimetres so we are looking at these dry conditions kind of spread out from western Saskatchewan into the Saskatoon area,” said Quinlan.

Click to play video: 'Regina cleaning up after spring snowstorm dumps snow on the Queen City' Regina cleaning up after spring snowstorm dumps snow on the Queen City
Regina cleaning up after spring snowstorm dumps snow on the Queen City – Apr 15, 2022

With the dry conditions carrying on into this years’ crop season, University of Saskatchewan professor Greg Penner was looking into another way to keep cattle hydrated.

Read more: Drought outlook tool first of its kind in Canada to predict conditions 30 days in advance

The study looked at supplementing cattle with sodium and potassium to hold water in their system longer.

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“Those cattle that had more sodium and potassium in their diet did drink a lot more water and excreted that water in urine as well as we would expect suggesting that it is providing some potential benefit,” said Penner.

However, concerns continue to stack up. Lanigan farmer Clinton Monchuk said his seed may be going into the ground a couple weeks late to avoid losing even more yields than last year.

“The temperatures are cool, the ground’s still not very warm and you don’t want to get in too early to risk a frost either later on in the growing season,” said Monchuk.

Read more: Saskatchewan farmers look to the future after months of drought

Some areas of the province may be catching a break, though.

According to Quinlan, the upcoming weather forecast shows more precipitation in the near future with another big storm on the way.

“Some models are pinpointing anywhere between 30 and 50 millimetres out of this system and a large portion of that will likely fall as snow but there is still a ton of uncertainty so we will continue refining the forecast in the coming days,” said Quinlan.

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