Weather outlook favours Prairie crops, so far

(Resource News International) — The weather outlook for recently seeded grain and oilseed crops in Western Canada is mostly favourable, according to short- and medium-term projections from an industry analyst.

“The near-term forecast for producers is especially encouraging,” said Drew Lerner with World Weather Inc., who projected there will be some shower activity across the drier regions of Saskatchewan and Manitoba.

“A lot of the drier areas in Western Canada will have an opportunity to pick up some much-needed moisture from these rain events,” Lerner said. “While the rain will not be enough to alleviate the dryness, it will definitely be timely and in turn buy the recently planted crops some time.”

Based on his crop models for the remaining spring period, he said, the precipitation will not be able to take care of all the moisture deficits that currently exist in Western Canada, but it will certainly ease some of the concerns.

Temperatures across the Canadian Prairies were expected to bounce between below average and above average through much of June, Lerner said.

“While frost has been a concern for parts of Saskatchewan and Manitoba recently, there was little in the weather outlooks suggesting that temperatures will decline to the point where the crops are threatened in the near to medium term,” Lerner said.

As for the summer, Lerner predicted good growing conditions should prevail over much of Western Canada with the exception of northern Saskatchewan and more northerly growing areas of Manitoba.

“The majority of the grain and oilseed production areas in Western Canada should get favourable moisture this summer,” he said, noting that the southeastern half of the Prairies will see the most frequent precipitation during July and August.

That should produce normal to above-normal moisture for the southeastern half of Saskatchewan as well as Manitoba and probably normal precipitation for central and southern Alberta, he said.

Northern areas of Alberta, including the Peace River region, were expected to be a bit drier than normal during the summer months, Lerner said.

Temperatures during the early part of the summer were expected to bounce around with brief periods of cool air forecast for the eastern part of the Prairies, he said.

“However, normal to above-normal temperatures will occur as we move further into summer,” Lerner said. “If there is going to be a cooler bias to the temperatures it will occur in the more northerly areas of Alberta and Saskatchewan.

Environment Canada, in its crop models for the June, July and August period, said the weather should be hotter and wetter than normal.

The forecast from Environment Canada predicted above-normal temperatures for most of the country, and higher-than-average precipitation for southern regions of the Prairies.

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