Dry Saskatchewan Conditions Cause for Concern Among Livestock Producers

Farmscape for August 3, 2021

Full Interview 9:23 Listen

A Saskatchewan pork producer says the driest conditions in the province since 1988 will challenge cattle and hog farmers securing feed for this coming winter. Concerns over the exceptionally dry conditions in Saskatchewan continue to increase. Florian Possberg, a partner with Polar Pork Farms, observes almost all of the western prairies are at some level of drought but it also extends well into some of the major corn and wheat growing areas of the United States so this is an issue for all of North America.

Clip-Florian Possberg-Polar Pork Farms:
We’re in the hog business and we feed our hogs grain so it’s less problematic for us to bring feed from distances.
The cattle industry is the one that’s really being impacted because hay crops in our area are 25 to 30 percent of what they have been the last few years. In addition, we’re seeing some of the barley stands being cut down for greenfeed just so that the guys with cattle can find something to feed their animals this winter. And lower yields in our feed grains plus some of our cereal crops being harvested for greenfeed and not available for hog feed, this is having a substantial impact on our ability to feed our animals. The guys that grow grain have crop insurance, most of them do and so they will be able to offset a lot of their losses. In the hog business we can’t feed our pigs crop insurance. We need the physical inventory so it’s going to create quite a challenge for us.

Possberg acknowledges, while timely rain could turn things around, the scope of the situation won’t be clear until the crop starts to come off. Even then, he says, some producers such as those who finish hogs and require higher volumes of feed or those in drier areas will face greater challenges than others so strategies will have to be tailored for each individual situation.

For more visit Farmscape.Ca. Bruce Cochrane.

       *Farmscape is a presentation of Wonderworks Canada Inc