Prince Albert area receives cold shoulder from Mother Nature

By Nigel Maxwell
October 2, 2018 - 2:00pm

The Prince Albert area experienced a colder, wetter September, according to the latest data from Environment Canada.

The average temperature last month was 6.2 Celsius, almost four degrees colder than the historical average. In terms of precipitation, the Prince Albert area received 45.8 mm, compared to the historical average of 43.4. Meteorologist Natalie Hasell said it may have felt like a lot more.

"It was dry basically from April through to the end of August, and that's true for pretty much everywhere in the prairies," she said. “It may felt like a lot more than normal because we had so little in recent memory.”

Looking ahead to the month of October, Hasell said people in the Prince Albert area can expect below normal temperatures for this week and the week after. Daytime highs are not expected to exceed 13 C with overnight lows of -1 C or less.

"You're in a freeze-thaw cycle so that might be a concern already for the farmers. I don't know how tolerant crops are with temperatures falling below zero at night," she said.

Ken Blocka farms in the MacDowall area and said the recent snow and moisture has affected his operations.

"On Saturday and Sunday, we took off quite a bit of wheat so we are drying that right now so that's an extra cost with all the propane costs and the electricity, and extra trucking," he said.

Blocka said he was able to get the canola swathed before the frost hit, but added he is still feeling a lot of pressure.

"The moneymaker is still in the field, like all the canola is out there. You know we've got 2,300 acres of canola and so if we lose that, it's not going to look good," he said.

According to last week's crop report from the Ministry of Agriculture, the northeastern region had 34 per cent of the crop combined. This compared with the provincial average of 68 per cent, and was well below the five-year average of 53 per cent for this time of year.


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