Incoming storm may pose challenges for calving this time of year

Old Man Winter isn’t quite done with Saskatchewan just yet.

Earlier today, Environment Canada issued a special weather statement that has since been changed to a winter storm watch, covering the south and southeast portions of the province. The federal weather agency says a Colorado Low is expected to drop 10 to 25 cm of snowfall with the highest amounts expected over higher elevations. Strong northeast winds may gust up to 60 to 80 km/h, causing blowing snow and reduced visibility.

The president of the Saskatchewan Stock Growers Association, Garner Deobald, who farms near Hodgeville in the southwest, called the latest snowstorm a mixed blessing.

“The moisture is very welcome, but it does cause some significant challenges for people that are calving,” said Deobald.

“When it drops below zero and wet weather, it makes it really difficult for some of those young calves when they’re first born. Ranchers are very good at what they do and animal welfare is so important and they do look after (the calves) very well. It just takes a lot more work at this time to look after them when the weather is like that.” he explained of the challenges this type of weather has on calving this time of year.

While its turning out to be a late-spring, Deobald says there is some good to consider.

“On the cattle side for growing grass, and for the prospect of growing some feed here in the summer is quite good this year in comparison to the last few years. The snow is welcome – it is a little late – and once it does turn warm I think the grass will pop up pretty quick, and everybody will be anxious to get cows out on grass this year. With the cost of feeding , and in some cases there is still limited supply of feed as winter drags on, it would be nice to get a break here.”

And the late-spring, Deobald says, is nothing new for producers.

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