Learn more about COVID-19 in Saskatchewan.  New information for businesses and workers available.

Google Translate Disclaimer

A number of pages on the Government of Saskatchewan`s web site have been professionally translated in French. These translations are identified by a yellow text box that resembles the link below and can be found in the right hand rail of the page. The home page for French-language content on this site can be found here:

Renseignements en Français

Where an official translation is not available, Google™ Translate can be used. Google™ Translate is a free online language translation service that can translate text and web pages into different languages. Translations are made available to increase access to Government of Saskatchewan content for populations whose first language is not English.

The results of software-based translation do not approach the fluency of a native speaker or possess the skill of a professional translator. The translation should not be considered exact, and may include incorrect or offensive language Government of Saskatchewan does not warrant the accuracy, reliability or timeliness of any information translated by this system. Some files or items cannot be translated, including graphs, photos, and other file formats such as portable document formats (PDFs).

Any person or entities that rely on information obtained from the system does so at his or her own risk. Government of Saskatchewan is not responsible for any damage or issues that may possibly result from using translated website content. If you have any questions about Google™ Translate, please visit: Google™ Translate FAQs.

Choosing a Wintering Site

By Chris Jungwirth, Engineer-in-Training, Regional Engineer, Saskatoon

March 2020

When selecting a wintering site, your main focus is typically providing a location with adequate water and shelter that makes sense financially. Environmental considerations may not play into the decision or may occur after-the-fact, as the environmental consequences are often less obvious. However, you should take them into consideration earlier in the process.

Wintering sites can impact groundwater quality. As excess water moves down, the soil profile can carry nitrates. Nitrogen is highly soluble in water and is not bound to soil particles. Impacts are influenced by the amount of nitrate in the soil, the quantity of water in the soil, soil texture and depth to groundwater.

The majority of runoff from a wintering site occurs from snowmelt in spring while the ground is still frozen. There is limited opportunity for dormant vegetation to utilize nutrients, trap sediment and reduce water flow. This scenario results in less nutrient-leaching but more nutrient transport via surface runoff. Uncontrolled runoff from wintering sites carries nutrients and pathogens.

Feeding and bedding strategies can reduce environmental risk, and help build soil quality at nutrient-deficient sites. These strategies include the following:

  • Spreading cattle out over a larger area, and changing feeding and bedding locations, minimizes manure build-up;
  • Moving portable wind breaks helps reduce potential for nutrient hot spots;
  • Healthy riparian areas provide a buffer between wintering areas and surface water;
  • Feeding cattle away from watercourses protects water from runoff;
  • Swath grazing, corn grazing, and stockpiled forages can reduce labour and handling costs; and
  • Bale grazing, bale processing, and portable bunk feeding encourage uniform manure distribution if managed properly.


Protecting natural water sources infographic.

We need your feedback to improve saskatchewan.ca. Help us improve