Cow-calf producers in areas of Saskatchewan from Regina west to Kindersley should start planning alternatives for feed, the Western Beef Development Centre is warning.
“Hay yields depend on spring weather conditions, and this year’s cold and dry April-through-June weather will result in low hay yields,” vice-president of operations, Paul Jefferson, said in a release July 7.
Applying historical weather and hay yield data to the last three months of weather data from 16 sites in the province, Jefferson has developed a statistical model that predicts hay yields as low as 40 per cent of the longer-term yield, around Moose Jaw. Of the 16 areas studied, only four can expect to see “average” yields relative to the longer term.
Generally, the WBDC warned, hay supplies for the 2009-10 winter will be tight across the province, especially following a long, cold 2008-09 winter in which many cow-calf producers depleted their hay and feed stocks.