GFM Network News

Abrupt mid-March shift into spring predicted

Winter conditions are expected to remain the norm across the Canadian Prairies through the middle of March, when a sudden pattern change brings an abrupt start to spring, according to the latest seasonal forecast from The Weather Network. The quick move from cold to warm conditions raises the risk of flooding in areas with a […] Read more

Wet spring hampers Prairie fertilizer timetable

CNS Canada — This week’s dump of snow in eastern Saskatchewan and western Manitoba will likely push back fieldwork and fertilizer applications on a lot of farms, according to one crop watcher. Keystone Agricultural Producers president Dan Mazier, speaking from a conference in the U.S., said only about 50 per cent of the normal amount […] Read more

This map shows the total amount of precipitation compared to average for the agricultural year which started in September 2015. Even with the light snow cover this winter, thanks to a wetter-than-average fall, precipitation amounts are around average across most of the Prairies. The exceptions are in parts of west-central Manitoba and northwestern Alberta.

Could this be one of the warmest springs on record?

AccuWeather is forecasting an exceptionally warm and dry spring — 
and it has good reasons for making such a bold prediction

AccuWeather came out early in February with its spring weather prediction, so I figured that maybe I should join in and take a look at what the different forecasters are calling for this spring. After all, meteorological spring starts on the first day of March (March-April-May). In what I think is a pretty bold move, AccuWeather […] Read more

Alberta’s winter wheat fields seem to have survived the wintertime highs and lows seen across the province.

Winter wheat weathered Alberta’s wacky winter

Itching to check your winter wheat crop? Wait until spring seeding to give it time to recover, says Janine Paly

Alberta’s weird winter weather conditions didn’t seem to wreck winter wheat crops across the province, says a local winter wheat agronomist. “From our spring assessment, the majority of the fields has very little damage, even with the unusual winter conditions we experienced across the Prairies,” said Janine Paly of Ducks Unlimited Canada. The Ducks Unlimited […] Read more

Ready to pull the trigger? Some thoughts on seeding early

A head start is tempting, but frost dates and saprophytic organisms may curb your enthusiasm

To seed early or not to seed early; that is the question. “If you have an early spring, there is that tendency to want to go early,” said Doon Pauly, agronomy research scientist with Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development in Lethbridge. “I’m fully expecting that we will be in the field by the middle of […] Read more

The soil moisture situation looks worse in the north than it likely is, said Alberta Agriculture’s Ralph Wright. “It’s under snow. The snow still has to melt and recharge the soil moisture.”  (click image for full view)

It’s getting dry — is it time to worry?

No, says weather expert, but areas across the province are on Bruce Burnett’s watch list

With warm-weather records dropping like flies and bare fields drying out in parts of the province, is there trouble ahead? Don’t worry yet, says Bruce Burnett, weather and crops specialist at the CWB. “I don’t think that this early-spring weather means that we are necessarily headed for a drought,” Burnett said in a March 20 […] Read more

Soil moisture outlook generally good

The latest provincial soil moisture outlook is generally promising. South of the Trans-Canada, below-normal snowpacks are being offset by above-normal soil moisture levels, said Ralph Wright, manager, agro-meteorological applications and modelling section, Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development, Edmonton. The situation is reversed north of the Trans-Canada. “One notable exception remains in the extreme northern Peace […] Read more

Want a can’t miss weather forecast for 2015? Then don’t look here

Five to Remember: Vagaries of weather forecasts prove there's no crystal ball involved

If you’re looking for a crystal ball to predict the weather for the coming year, steer clear of whatever brand Environment Canada is using. “In October or November, it does its forecast of what the winter’s going to be like, and for three years in a row now, it has been diametrically 180 degrees opposite […] Read more

Increased disease pressure, weed competition a possibility for crops this summer

The cool, wet spring could mean increased disease pressure and weed competition later in the growing season

The cool, damp weather of early spring delayed seeding across Alberta, but “it’s still early,” says a crop specialist with Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development. “Last year, more than half the (canola) acres were seeded after May 20,” said Neil Whatley. “We’ve got lots of time until freeze-up in the fall. There’s no use panicking […] Read more