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CWRA SK BRANCH WEBINAR: DROUGHT ASSESSMENT IN THE PRAIRIES with Trevor Hadwen
February 8 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
The 2021 drought was arguably the worst drought in the Canadian Prairies in over 50 years. What made this past year’s drought so extraordinary was that the dryness was so widespread and severe. This, combined with an unprecedented early season heat wave. At the end of August, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s Canadian Drought Monitor assessment showed that drought covered 94% per cent of the agricultural land in Western Canada, with more than 28% for the agricultural landscape in Extreme or Exceptional Drought. The lack of summer rains in the west contributed to the searing heat and wide spread wildfires. The drought impacted over 46 million acres of crop land, 54 million acres of pasture and over 2 million cattle. The impact of the drought on crop production across the Prairies was devastating. Canada’s total wheat and canola production fell by 38.5 and 35.3 per cent, respectively.
The fall and early winter have brought some relief, however, large regions of the prairies remain in Severe and Extreme drought conditions. Precipitation deficits remain high throughout the southern prairies on most time scales. Soil moisture, surface water supplies, and ground water continue to be stressed and are a significant concern going into the 2022 agricultural season.
This presentation will review the Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada Drought assessment process, review the 2021 drought, look at how the 2021 drought compares to other historical droughts in the region and provide an outlook for spring conditions.
This webinar is the next installment in the 2021-2022 SK Branch webinar series.