Glacier FarmMedia COVID-19 & the Farm

May showers likely to leave growers unsatisfied

Environment Canada on April 30 released this forecast map for the probability of above-normal precipitation for the period of May through July 2018.

CNS Canada — Canada’s Prairies can expect to see regular rainfall in most regions during May, but it likely won’t be enough to offset dry conditions recorded over the past several months.

According to Drew Lerner of World Weather Inc. in Kansas City, the first half of May should see average rainfall amounts in most regions of Western Canada, but more will likely be needed in the second half.

“Farmers will be pleased with the ability to get on the field and get planted. But it won’t be but two or three weeks until there’s gonna be a lot of hollering out there that even with normal precipitation, it isn’t enough.”

The second half of the month will likely see a higher evaporation rate, due to warmer temperatures, Lerner noted.

“The majority of the region is still not likely to see an abundance of precipitation,” he said. “It will rain, but not so much as to fix long-term moisture (deficiencies) in the soil.”

Temperatures in Alberta should be warmer than much of Saskatchewan and Manitoba, which will be near to slightly below average for the month, according to Lerner.

“Yes, near to above average for most areas, but a cooler bias for eastern Saskatchewan and Manitoba,” he said.

The La Nina weather event that gripped much of Canada during the winter has largely dissipated with few traces remaining.

“We’ve been cooler (recently) due to the cooler water in the Gulf of Alaska,” he said, “and to a certain degree the 18-year cycle.”

The chance also exists for additional cool blasts to come through the eastern Prairies.

“Manitoba and eastern Saskatchewan will see some freezes periodically,” he said.

— Dave Sims writes for Commodity News Service Canada, a Glacier FarmMedia company specializing in grain and commodity market reporting.

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