Ranchers are being urged to test water supplies in their dugouts, after hundreds of cattle and calves were found dead in a grazing pasture near Shamrock on July 7th. 

Lab results released on Thursday confirmed the 200 cattle were killed by a combination of dehydration, poor water quality, and heat.

Sulphate levels in the water were more than three times the lethal limit, at 24,000 milligrams per litre.

Concentrations of 1000 milligrams are enough to cause neurological damage, while levels of 7000 milligrams per litre or more can result in death. 

The amount of total dissolved liquids in the water were measured at 33,400 milligrams per litre.

It's recommended pregnant or lactating cows should not consume water with more than 5,000 milligrams of total dissolved solids per litre, while water with over 7,000 milligrams of dissolved solids per litre is not recommended for any cattle.

Several factors have contributed to higher levels of minerals in some dugouts this year. Dugouts and ponds didn't have much spring run-off this year to dilute the water, and high evaporation levels mixed with low precipitation can cause minerals to become quite concentrated. 

"With not much run-off this spring and high evaporation rates, any minerals in the water will be becoming more concentrated," Livestock Specialist Travis Peardon said. "That is probably as much of a concern as anything with dugouts, especially if sulphates are present. That could be more of a problem than anything really."

Peardon said unfortunately, there's not much that can be done to battle mineral concentrations. 

"Unfortunately, there's not a whole lot you can do to mitigate it." Peardon said. "I guess the best thing is, if you do have mineral issues in the water, have somebody develop a strong mineral plan for you because with sulphates, if they do become too concentrated, cattle don't do very well." 

If producers have any questions regarding livestock water requirements, they are encouraged to contact their local Ministry of Agriculture regional office or the Agricultural Knowledge Centre at 1-866-457-2377.

Ag News

Historic southwest ranch designated as a Provincial Heritage Property

A distinct recognition was handed out by the provincial government Monday honouring the Historic Reesor Ranch. The 113-year-old W.D. & Alice Reesor Ranch located in the Cypress Hills was designated a…

Overhead Lines Still a Safety Concern for Farmers

With farm equipment growing larger each year, overhead power lines are becoming more of a hazard. With producers working long hours during harvest season, it can become easy to put safety on the back…

A sad state of affairs for top soil moisture in southwest Saskatchewan

Top soil moisture in southwest Saskatchewan has taken a big hit due to the summer's weather, and World Weather Meteorologist Andrew Owen said a reversal of fortune doesn't appear imminent. "It is not…

Film director James Cameron investing in Saskatchewan pea-processing plant

There was a key announcement yesterday for Saskatchewan’s Organic Industry. Canadian-born film director James Cameron and his wife are partnering with Greg and Olivia Yuel, of PIC Investment Group,…

AgLink newest voice of agriculture suppliers

AgLink Canada, a new voice for Western Canadian Independent Agricultural Input Suppliers was launched Friday in Saskatoon. Dennis Belani from the Rack at Bigger is the group’s Chairman. He says with…

MacAulay comments On Liberals' proposed tax changes

We've been hearing loud and clear how many farmers feel in regards to the Liberals' proposed tax changes for small business. There have been concerns that the proposed changes would make it more…

Agricultural economist discusses challenges ahead for producers

A stronger Canadian dollar and higher interest rates may make the business of agriculture more challenging, but not necessarily put producers in a weaker financial position. Last week FCC released…

Crop Report for September 5th to 11th

Provincial Progress According to Saskatchewan Agriculture's Weekly Crop Report, producers have made significant harvest progress in recent weeks due to the dry warm weather. Saskatchewan producers…

Hog forward contract prices on the decline

The director of risk management with Hams Marketing Services says things have really deteriorated for hogs on the forward contract price side. Tyler Fulton notes we're seeing October and December…

Provincial crop report shows significant harvest progress

Farmers have been pushing hard to get the bulk of the crop in before the rain arrived. Saskatchewan Agriculture’s Weekly Crop Report shows provincially about 65% of the crop is now combined, up from…

Norm Hall talks about Bill C-49

The Vice President of the Canadian Federation of Agriculture Norm Hall appeared before the House of Commons Agriculture Committee on Tuesday. The Committee was holding hearings on Bill C-49, the act…

Alberta MP criticizes proposed tax changes' effect on farmers

The federal conservative's associate agriculture critic says the Liberals proposed tax changes are just the latest in a long list of moves that have hurt Canadian farmers. Alberta MP John Barlow…

Agricultural Commodity Boards looking for producers

A number of Agricultural Commodity Boards are looking for producers who are interested in taking a more active role in the industry. Three positions are open at the board table for the Saskatchewan…

Drivers Reminded to Be Careful Around Farm Machinery on Highways

Highways are busier than normal in west central Saskatchewan with harvest underway. The Ministry of Highways is reminding residents to watch out for farm equipment while driving. “Harvest is a busy…

Area farmers haul in durum to help third-world countries

Swift Current and area farmers came together yesterday to help harvest one of the Canadian Foodgrains Bank Growing Projects. The Canadian Foodgrains Bank is a Christian response to hunger, helping to…

Ag More Than Ever celebrates having over 4000 agvocates

Agriculture More Than Ever is excited to announce they now how over 4000 agvocates across Canada. People with a passion for the agriculture can sign up to become an agvocate free of charge, and will…

Grain Bin Safety Tips

There are some important rules that are recommended to be followed when dealing with grain bins, and making sure safety comes first. If there happens to be crusted grain inside your bin, first try to…

Rain in the forecast for later this week

Rain is in the forecast for much of the Province this week. World Weather Agri-Meteorologist Drew Lerner says farmers will want to get as much crop in the bin as possible – especially anything that’s…

CMBTC will continue to receive funding from prairie barley commissions

The Canadian Malting Barley Technical Centre (CMBTC) announced it will continue to receive funding from prairie barley commissions. This follows the end of the Western Canadian Deduction (WCD)…

Farmers being reminded to cool off their grain

While this year's crop may be coming off the field dry, It's still important to cool it down. That from Dr Joy Agnew, who is the program manager of agricultural research services with the Prarie…

DiscoverWestman.com is Westman's only source for community news and information such as weather and classifieds.

Search the Biz Guide

Ancient Echoes Interpretive Centre :Twelve Glimpses of My Existence

01 September 2017 9:00 am - 31 October 2017 5:00 pm

Ancient Echoes Interpretive Centre, Herschel

Rosetown Age Freindly Pen Pal Program

08 September 2017 11:00 am - 31 October 2017 12:00 am


Kindersley Co-ed Badminton

19 September 2017 6:30 pm - 24 October 2017 8:30 pm

Westberry School, Kindersley

St. Gabriel's Church registration for Prairie Notes

20 September 2017 6:30 pm - 21 September 2017 8:30 pm

Biggar St. Gabriel Roman Catholic Church, Biggar

Kindersley Chamber Of Commerce Goose Festival 2017 Canada 150 Theme

21 September 2017 8:00 am - 24 September 2017 10:00 pm

Town of Kindersley, Kindersley

Kindersley Co-ed Volleybal

21 September 2017 7:00 pm - 26 September 2017 9:00 pm

KCS High School, Kindersley

KTown Shakedown 2nd Annual Slow Pitch Tournament

22 September 2017 6:00 pm - 24 September 2017 8:00 pm