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Early Fall Habitat Conditions in Canada

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Sakatchewan

Wetland habitat conditions remain good to excellent across the entire province, and wetland water levels have only begun to go down in the last few weeks. Most permanent and semi-permanent wetlands remain full, while seasonal and temporary wetlands are beginning to dry. The Missouri Coteau and southeast Saskatchewan remain very wet, with the Coteau experiencing some of its best wetland conditions in recent memory. Many of the seasonal and temporary wetlands in the Coteau still have water and most of the larger wetlands are at full capacity. Wetlands in the Touchwood Hills, Thickwood Hills and Allan Hills are also excellent. In addition, it is very wet in the northern portion of the agricultural zone of the province, where DUC staff are still operating projects in the Meadow Lake area, which is unusual for this time of year.

The wet conditions that were present this spring and summer have led to good to excellent waterfowl production across the province. Production extended into late summer because of the excellent wetland conditions, and some late broods are still being observed. Migration appears to be well underway, with Arctic geese and sandhill cranes common across northern and central parts of the province. Ducks are beginning to form large flocks, and are feeding in harvested fields. Hunters are reporting good success in most areas of the province. Given the excellent wetland conditions in spring and summer, the fall southward flight should be excellent.

Since the beginning of September, temperatures have been above normal and there has been very little rain. Due to the warm temperatures, harvest is going extremely well and provincial reports suggest that 60 per cent of the crops have been harvested to date. Harvest is ahead of schedule compared to the long-term average for this time of year. In general, crop yields have been average to above average, depending on the area of the province. Most areas experienced freezing temperatures on September 13, which may have had some impact on those who planted winter wheat.

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