There is an old adage that you never lose a crop in February. While this may be true, the lack of snowfall we have seen in Saskatchewan, particularly the southeast, compared with the rather mild temperatures we have seen for most of the winter, some are anxiously hoping for more precipitation ahead of the seeding season. 

“Clearly people are concerned when you get out of the norm,” said Golden West Business Commentator Paul Martin. “You really don’t know what to expect.” 

Martin noted even the economic forecasters are basing their outlooks for the coming year if things are what is considered to be normal when it comes to conditions in the agricultural sector. This year, things have been anything but normal.  

Those who produce those outlooks, however, aren’t likely keeping as close an eye on the weather conditions in the southeast as the local producers do, Martin speculated. 

“They wouldn’t have any clue about that, but they would just wait for agricultural groups, or Ag Canada or somebody like that, to come out and say growing conditions are going to be normal or abnormal this year, and that’s what they would base their forecasts on,” Martin stated.  

Moisture, though, is the key thing needed in the province. The lack of snow this winter, combined with the mild temperatures that have melted away much of the precipitation that has fallen, has some concerned.  

“We need subsoil moisture, so we need a lot of rain,” Martin said. 

While things have been dry in the southeast, Martin pointed to other parts of the province that could come out of the winter in some precarious situations.  

“The really serious drought conversations are out in that corridor along the Alberta-Saskatchewan border, much more than say from Estevan, up Highway 9 to Hudson Bay.”