Prairies could be in for a piercing winter

Prairies could be in for a piercing winter
Aug 29, 2019

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Temperatures could drop below -40 C, the Farmers’ Almanac says

By Diego Flammini
Staff Writer

Western Canadian farmers could be in for some extremely numbing temperatures this winter, the 2020 Farmers’ Almanac predicts.

The Prairie forecast for the 2019-20 winter is frigid and snowy. In late January and early February, the mercury could drop significantly.

“Arctic air could cause temperatures to drop as low as -40 C over the Prairies,” Pete Geiger, editor of the almanac, said in an Aug. 26 release.

But some members of the ag community are used to these frosty temperatures.

“As long as cows have enough feed and somewhere warm to get out of the wind, then they seem to do just fine with the cold,” Russell Thompson, president of the Manitoba Shorthorn Association, told

If a cow is pregnant, however, she may ingest a lot more feed, which could affect the calf.

“If the calf is eating as much as a pound per day inside of the mother, you could run into trouble with heavy birth weights,” Thompson said.

Other farmers are using the warmer conditions now to prepare for winter’s chill.

Temperatures dipping below -40 C is a common occurrence in Saskatchewan. Taking the time to make sure everything works now will save headaches when the snow comes, said John Hylkema, a dairy producer from Hague, Sask.

“We expect the temperatures to be incredibly low every year and lines to freeze. That’s what happened last year,” he told “We have heaters in all of our water troughs and make sure the doors are working on the warm barns. We use the warm weather to get ready for the cold weather so there are no surprises during the winter.”

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