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Irrigated crops in southern Alberta loving the heat; dryland crops not fairing well

LETHBRIDGE COUNTY, AB – All this heat is a double-edged sword for local farmers.

Ken Coles with Farming Smarter in Lethbridge County says for irrigated crops these conditions are great, but for dryland farmers across the region it’s a completely different story.

“Some rain right now might salvage some of the dryland crops,” says Coles. “I think, honestly a lot of the damage is done already. We’re already talking about next year in a lot of cases. Luckily, a lot folks are diversified and have mixes of irrigated and dryland, but one can only hope for the best.”

Coles says the heat here in June, coupled with some very windy days, has really taken a toll on those dryland crops. “It’s kind of a sad note for the dryland folks, but the irrigated crops are looking great,” says Coles.

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That rain Coles is talking about is not likely to materialize, at least not anytime soon with a long stretch of hot and dry weather in the forecast for at least the next two, maybe three weeks and little relief in sight.

Environment Canada’s long range forecast isn’t showing temps below 32°C for Lethbridge and area until maybe July 9th and nothing under 30°C until around the 13th or 14th of July.

The Lethbridge area has only recorded about 17 mm of total rainfall this entire month of June and less than 80 mm for all of 2021 and that includes snow melt during the winter.

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