|FTLComm - Tisdale - March 24, 1999|
|For all of the summer through harvest, precipitation was very light in the Tisdale
and Northeastern portion of Saskatchewan's grain growing farmland. During the winter
the snow cover was extremely thin and as you can see above, that cover is all but
gone and there is little if any run off. Though this field looks like it might in
the summer, it is still spring and as you can see below as I walked out into the
field in the damp places, the material is frozen about two inches below the surface
of the soil. But the dampness is an extremely thin layer and unless April brings
some of its advertised showers there is not going to be much growing on fields like
this one this summer.
As you can see, the farmer has a light mulch in the field which will deter wind erosion for a while, but persistent warm days and modest winds will move this material to another location. Stubble fields are much better off then open fields like this one already tilled, as they are still holding some snow and the moisture in that snow and ice will be retained. In addition, the stubble fields will be less affected by the rapid drying affects of the sun and wind.
The over all effect of these conditions are that farmers will be once again able to plant as early as they did last year and then hope for precipitation after planting to sustain and develop this year's crop. It is safe to say that if even modest precipitation is received on the stubble fields at least, we can expect yet another early harvest in late August in 1999.