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Sask. farmers not panicking over warm temperatures in February

Saskatchewan farmers don’t think the above-average temperatures this winter are putting them out to pasture.

“I don’t think they’ll affect us yet,” said Ian Boxall, the president of the Agricultural Producers Association of Saskatchewan (APAS). “There’s still lots of winter yet to get the snow and get the runoff, the moisture we require before spring.”

In fact, Boxall said he’s confident that more snow will be seen in Saskatchewan before the winter months are through — enough to fill up dugouts for farmers

“It is crazy weather that we’re seeing,” he acknowledged, “but I don’t think we’ll start panicking yet.”

Even if more snow doesn’t fall, Boxall said farmers would prefer some rainfall in April or May to help crops and the hayland.

“April rain is better … than anything, really, when it comes to the cropland,” he explained.

While many may fear present weather patterns as extreme, Boxall isn’t fazed and thinks the current abnormal temperatures could just as well be cyclical.

Thirty years ago, Boxall recalled a winter with little to no snow that had people in Tisdale out golfing.

“We’ve had winters before with lack of snow for a lot of it,” he said, also noting the province’s present dry spell comes after a decade of excessive moisture in some parts of Saskatchewan.

“I think you’ll just see these weather patterns continue the way they have.”

Boxall also pointed to the inch of rain areas of the province received in November as a bit of good news for producers.

He said some parts of the province have been harder hit and may be experiencing a bit more panic, but largely farmers are remaining calm.

“I’m optimistic that we’ll get the moisture that we require before spring,” Boxall said.

“Let’s be honest, having plus degrees on the first of February is odd in this country but I think farmers and ranchers, we wouldn’t do it if we weren’t optimistic.”

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