Producers worry they won’t have enough feed for their cattle
By Michelle Jones
For the third year in a row, many Saskatchewan farmers are finding themselves looking skyward hoping for rain.
The Regina area has only received 2.1 mm of precipitation since June 1 and 11.3 mm in May, the Government of Canada website said. Other parts of Saskatchewan have received even less.
Only about a month into the growing season, Bethune, Sask.-area grain and cattle farmer Allan Fahlman is getting worried.
“Pretty well, this year is a write-off,” said Fahlman to Farms.com. “Canola was (done) probably two weeks ago. The barley, I’ve got a bad feeling it’s just going to burn up. If it rains this weekend, we can continue with the barley. The hay land, that was probably done, I’d say, three weeks ago.”
If it rains, Fahlman still has hope for his wheat and oats. But the lack of precipitation this early in the year doesn’t leave him very optimistic, especially where his cattle are concerned.
“This (drought) is sort of a dirty one because, other years, we had hay. Everyone has their own problems. Ours is the cattle. ... We don’t want to sell them,” he said.
Fahlman knows of many farmers who are shipping their cattle due to the feed and water shortage, he said, which drives the cost down. This situation further cuts into an already dismal growing season.
All Fahlman’s water reserves have long since dried up, so he is dependant on the rain. Without it, he won’t have any feed for his cattle and will be forced to sell.
“I’m just hoping to hold the cattle, and crop insurance will have to come through with some money to try and pay the bills. We’ll get through it and try again next year, I guess.”