Heavy precipitation in Saskatchewan and Manitoba from June 25 to July 1, 2014 caused significant flooding, damage to infrastructure, and resulted in nearly 100 communities declaring states of emergency. Based on census and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada precipitation maps, it is estimated that 25 to 35 per cent of Saskatchewan and Manitoba crop land received over 2.0 inches of rain and approximately half of that area received over 3.5 inches of rain.
Not only was the recent storm severe, but the majority of Saskatchewan and Manitoba also received 200 per cent more than normal rainfall this growing season. This led to an estimated 2 million acres that were left unseeded in these provinces.
While most crops can survive between 3 and 5 days under water before suffering major damage, previous rain storms imply that crops were already under water prior to the last major rain. Estimates of drowned out area are 2.0 to 3.0 million acres in both Saskatchewan and Manitoba.
The impacts to grain and oilseed production are not limited to the area drowned out. Wet weather across the prairies will leach crop nutrients, delay spraying operations and crop maturity increasing the likelihood of reduced yields and the risk of frost damage this fall. According to the Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture, 66% of oilseeds, 61% of spring cereals, 55% of pulse crops, and 49% of fall cereals are behind normal crop growth stages. However, crop outside of the major precipitation zone are in excellent condition.
Craig Klemmer, Senior Agricultural Economist