As of November 1, 2022
This report provides timely information on the regional agroclimate conditions, risks, and impacts across Canada. This is the final report of 2022, reporting will resume in spring 2023.
The most significant climate-related agricultural risk heading into winter 2022-23 is continued drought conditions through much of Western Canada.
Abnormally warm temperatures and below normal precipitation in large areas of British Columbia, Alberta and western Saskatchewan continued to expand drought conditions. Drought has reduced the amount of winter wheat being seeded and has left pastures and rangeland extremely dry going into the winter season. Harvest continued to progress in Eastern Canada under favourable conditions.
The short-term forecast is for warm conditions in Eastern Canada and cool, snowy conditions across much of Western Canada. The November forecast is for warmer than normal temperatures from Manitoba eastward while cooler than normal temperatures are expected for British Columbia and Alberta. Dry conditions are expected in southern Manitoba and much of Eastern Canada while above normal precipitation is forecast for southern British Columbia, Alberta, and Saskatchewan.
Precipitation over the last 30 days continued to be low across most agricultural regions in British Columbia, central and northern Alberta, northern Saskatchewan and northeastern Manitoba agricultural regions. An early winter storm, in late October, brought much needed moisture to southern regions of Alberta and Saskatchewan but more moisture is needed to recharge extremely dry soil. Several locations in southwestern British Columbia received record low precipitation for September and October. In Eastern Canada, portions of southern Ontario and eastern Quebec continued to receive very low precipitation. Atlantic Canada's agricultural regions also received below average precipitation in the past 30 days, particularly Newfoundland and Labrador which saw record low precipitation in October.
Over the last 30 days, 9 % of Canada’s agricultural area, including 7 % of farms and approximately 7 % of cattle, have received extremely low precipitation. Conversely, 2 % of the agricultural area has received extremely high precipitation.
October temperatures remained above normal across much of the country, with the exception of pockets in southern Ontario. The highest temperature anomalies were experienced in central British Columbia, followed by Alberta and Atlantic Canada.
- British Columbia
- Agricultural regions across the province continued to see dry conditions and warm temperatures, with many new temperature records set. Cooler temperatures and some rainfall were received in coastal areas at the end of the reporting period.
- Little to no precipitation was received in the Okanagan. Late-season apple harvest is almost complete with average yields and below average quality expected. Wine-grape harvest is near-complete with good quality and above average yields.
- Drought and water scarcity continued to affect British Columbia prompting the Ministry of Environment to apply the Water Sustainability Act in several jurisdictions. The Sunshine Coast Regional District recently announced a local state of emergency and restrictions due to dwindling water supplies.
- Cattle producers in the Lower Fraser Valley, impacted by 2021 floods, are concerned about the potential of significant early winter precipitation and the impact it could have on already degraded land and infrastructure.
- Below normal precipitation and warmer than normal temperatures this fall resulted in decreased soil moisture reserves and water supplies.
- Producers are hauling water and pumping to fill winter water storage. Water supplies are of particular concern for livestock producers in southern portions of the province.
- Final 2022 estimates of dryland yields are approximately 10 % above the 5-year averages for all regions.
- Pastures were heavily grazed this spring resulting in more forage being used this fall. Pastures have not seen enough moisture to recover and yields my be impacted next spring.
- Soil moisture remains a concern for many farmers heading into winter the locations that had a moisture surplus early in the season having inadequate soil moisture. Provincial topsoil moisture for cropland areas was rated as 78 % short to very short.
- Due to lack of moisture, winter cereals and fall fertilizer application may not be conducted in many regions of the province.
- While hay yields were greatly improved in eastern parts of the province due to the favourable weather, farmers in western regions struggled with below average precipitation and poor hay yields and pasture production.
- Producers in southwest and west-central areas are sourcing feed from other parts of the province or from other provinces. Where feed is too costly or inventory is too depleted, farmers have reduced herd size.
- Harvest is almost complete in most parts of southern Manitoba. Fall fertilizer application is generally behind last year’s pace.
- Topsoil remains dry to very dry in large parts of western and central Manitoba. More moisture is needed for fertilizer application and soil recharge for next year’s crop. Wet soils in the Interlake and Eastern regions are stalling corn harvest and field operations.
- Livestock water supplies are dropping but remain sufficient to complete the grazing season.
- Substantial portions of the provincial agricultural extent received below average precipitation over the reporting period, but this did not have a negative impact on remaining crops. The dry weather conditions were beneficial for plant maturity, harvest progress, and grain drying.
- For southern Ontario, harvesting is 90 % complete for soybeans and 50 % complete for corn. Corn yields are extremely variable. Winter wheat planting is near-complete; germination is an issue on fields that did not receive sufficient moisture. For northern Ontario, winter wheat acreage is up compared with most years due to warm and dry conditions.
- This year’s drought was the worst since 2012 in parts of Southern Ontario where hay and pasture yields were reduced 20 to 70 %. The last cut was very late leading to concerns of potential winter kill.
- The province experienced temperatures above normal for most of the reporting period.
- After a rainy start to the reporting period, dry weather allowed harvest to progress significantly in most regions. Eastern Quebec continued to receive precipitation through the reporting period recharging soil moisture.
- Harvesting of soybeans is near-complete and harvesting of corn is underway and progressing well.
- Above normal temperatures have been favorable for the development of winter cereals.
- No impacts to livestock have been reported. Forage was abundant in all regions, and no shortages are anticipated.
- Atlantic Region
- Abnormally warm temperatures and ideal conditions for harvest have been reported.
- PEI potato harvest is more than 95 % complete. Most potato farmers are reporting average yields and good quality, however warm temperatures are not ideal for storage.
- Soybean harvest has begun with good yields being reported. Grain corn harvest is underway. Apple and grape harvest is near-complete.
- Hurricane Fiona has resulted in damage to corn to the point that it cannot be harvested and apple and grape yields have also been reduced.
- Structural damage and downed trees are making farming challenging in some areas. A major concern is getting structures sound before winter.
- The short-term forecast is for warm temperatures across Eastern Canada while the west coast is expected to be stormy with significant snowfall in the Interior. The Prairie region is forecast to be snowy with cooling temperatures.
- The ECCC forecast for November is for warmer than normal temperatures from Manitoba east through the Atlantic Region. With cooler than normal conditions expected for British Columbia and Alberta. Drier than normal conditions are forecast for southern Ontario and Quebec and Atlantic Canada, while wetter than normal conditions are expected for British Columbia and the Prairies.
- The three-month forecast (November, December, January) shows warmer than normal temperatures continuing across Eastern Canada and cooler than normal temperatures in northern areas of Western Canada. Precipitation is forecast to be above normal across southern and Interior British Columbia, and much of Alberta, Saskatchewan, and north-central Manitoba.
This report was created with help from our network of Agroclimate Impact Reporter volunteers. Each month, they help us report on current conditions and weather-related risks to Canada's agriculture sector. Join the network if you are interested in becoming an Agroclimate Impact Reporter.