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Farmers Are Hoping To See Some Decent Moisture After The Harvest

While some areas of the Prairies have seen some rain this month, more precipitation is needed to pull out of the drought.

Trevor Hadwen is an Agroclimate Specialist with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada.

"What we really need is that good winter snowfall to provide some moisture into both the soil moisture, but also into the surface water supplies, dugouts and sloughs and even the streams have been very low this summer. So, we need that water from the snow melt, and we also need those spring rains to come through and continue to provide that moisture to recover the system."

It's been a challenging year for producers with the drought this year and many are comparing it to droughts from the past like 1988.

Hadwen notes when it comes to drought we're much better off now than we were 20, 30 or 50 years ago.

" In terms of how to manage drought we've got better practices, like zero till that conserve the soil moisture. We have infrastructure in place to provide water to a large region of the prairies, and producers have dugouts on their farms to try to preserve the water from winter runoff. All those things have helped us through this drought."

He notes the big difference between the drought in 1988, and this year is just how widespread the drought is this year.

Hadwen notes for some areas this is year 2, 3 or 4 of the drought, adding that it's going to take some time to recover from it, especially in those areas.

"For areas that have been suffering from drought and the severity of this drought for the last year or more, pasture productivity is going to take a big hit. Even if it starts to get a little bit more moisture out there. Even if we get that rainfall, we are still going to see deficits in the future, and it will take a while for things to get back to normal."

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