By Sara Ingell, AAg, Irrigation Agrologist, Outlook
Irrigation is an important and growing part of the agricultural landscape. There are currently just over 400,000 acres of irrigation in Saskatchewan. The province has experienced growth of over 35,000 acres of new irrigation over the last three years. This number is expected to continue to grow as the Provincial Growth Plan has targets of 85,000 acres of new irrigation by the year 2030.
The Saskatchewan Irrigation Information Booklet is a new, annual guide created to provide the latest insights, including data on irrigated acres and districts in the province, crops being grown under irrigation and climatic data in the Lake Diefenbaker Development Area (LDDA).
Irrigation projects exist throughout the agricultural region of the province; however, a large portion is concentrated in the Lake Diefenbaker region and along the South Saskatchewan River. The climate in the Lake Diefenbaker area is favourable for irrigation as it experiences; 1) a relatively high number of corn heat units, 2) a relatively longer growing season and 3) relatively low annual precipitation in comparison to other parts of the province. A recent stretch of dry years has further instilled the value of irrigation to the area. Including 2023, the region has now experienced seven consecutive years of below average precipitation.
The irrigated crop mix in the Lake Diefenbaker area is a mixture of cereals, oilseeds, pulses, forages, and specialty crops. Cereals are the dominant crop type making up 41 per cent of the crop rotation with oilseeds coming in at a close second making up 37 per cent of the rotation. Although potatoes and other specialty crops still only make up 6.2 per cent of the crop rotation, the region has seen an uptick in both potato and vegetable crop production in recent years.
For more information on irrigation and this booklet, please reach out to the crops and irrigation branch, Outlook office at 306-867-5500 or email@example.com.
Google Play and the Google Play logo are trademarks of Google LLC.