Now that we are around the halfway point of the 2017-2018 season, the lack of snow and moisture is starting to become a possibly worrisome precursor to a potentially rough growing season.
"This has been an unusually dry winter. There's been no really good storms to put down some snow, so unless we get some significant snowfall in March, we're going into spring fairly dry," stated Alan Arthur, the Reeve of the RM of Reciprocity.
"Last year, I think we were fortunate that we had the carryover of subsoil moisture, the crop came through a lot better than most people expected. This year, we don't have the subsoil moisture, so we're going to be dependent on timely rains, as opposed to the subsoil, supporting a good crop."
That said, winter is not over, and Arthur noted that things could yet change.
"Our big snow months, the ones that give significant moisture, are generally the latter part of February, March and early April. So, I think everybody's aware there's a potential problem, but I don't think anybody is starting to be extremely concerned. But there's concern out there for sure."
With all of that stated, the Reeve said that there are benefits to the low snow levels seen this year.
"For sure, there's been savings in the hours on the machines, and the time the men are spending pushing snow. That's a significant saving, both in operating and capital, because pushing snow is hard on the machines."
In addition, the lack of any covering on the roads has resulted in them becoming quite hard, and thus lower time spent maintaining the surface, and it's a similar story for the equipment as well.