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Precipitation still below average

Posted on June 25, 2014 by Maple Creek

After a seemingly never-ending dry spell, the Southwest has finally had plenty of rain. But it came a little too late for some crops.

Many producers in the area will be buying their hay this year.

Rex Furgeson, who farms five miles northeast of town, said that while the rain came late, it was the frost earlier on that was more of an issue.

“There will be very little hay done in this area. A lot of it is not worth cutting,” he said. “I won’t have enough, but I’m going to try to do some.”

Crops, however, are looking good in many parts of the Southwest. Jerry Seifert, who farms nine miles northwest of Fox Valley, said the area received two and a half inches of rain last week.

“It was needed, but the crop wasn’t suffering yet, so the crops are coming along real good right now,” he said.

Maple Creek has received about two inches of rain so far this month – most of which came last week. According to Environment Canada, the area typically sees about three inches of rain in June.

After the spring snow melt, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) reported all reservoirs in the Maple Creek area were full with the exception of Downie Lake, which was at about 75 per cent of capacity.

In February 2013,  AAFC temporarily reduced the full supply level of Cypress Lake by two feet. This year it reached that reduced full level after spring runoff.

Irrigation was able to be done on the east side of the Maple Creek Irrigation Project using water from Harris and McDougald reservoirs, which are still in operation. Irrigation was also completed at Consul and Vidora’s irrigation projects with water from Cypress Lake. Water levels are now at about 80 per cent of capacity at McDougald and Harris reservoirs and 95 per cent at Cypress Lake. Junction and Downie Lake reservoir levels have not changed since the spring melt.

According to AAFC, rain last week was not great enough to cause significant inflows to any of the reservoirs. McDougald and Cypress Lake reservoirs are rising very slowly, and Junction Reservoir is lightly spilling from moderate flows in Gap Creek. There has been no change in the Harris Reservoir level since irrigation occurred or in the level in Downie Lake.

There is a chance of isolated showers today, while Friday is expected to be sunny with a high of 21 C. Saturday could see more isolated showers, with more showers expected Sunday.

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