Rob Stone is making it rain, but not for the moisture-parched fields across Saskatchewan.
The Davidson farmer started a challenge on Twitter, pledging to donate $1,000 to charity if he saw a half-inch or more of rain by Tuesday. He sent out a challenge to other farmers to do the same, with the hashtag #AgTwitter.
"I think it's just that genuine Prairie nature. We're always a very giving province," he said. "I feel like it's important to give what you can, when you can."
Stone said he got the idea while driving the roads with $40,000 worth of seed a few weeks ago. The province was experiencing major drought conditions.
He threw it out on Twitter, thinking a few people might be interested. He said the challenge seemed to resonate with a lot more people than he expected.
"It was pretty amazing," he said.
With rain finally coming over the course of the past weekend, Stone and other producers started donating to various charities of their own choice. Stone donated $1,000 to 4-H, with others donating to causes such as Telemiracle and STARS Air Ambulance. One person pledged to donate $4,000 to $5,000 to a charity, Stone noted.
Stone said the rain was important for the crop. He said the seeds needed moisture to germinate.
The challenge came at a time when people needed a reason to feel good about something, he said.
"Things get pretty negative at times, with the past couple of years that have gone on, and all the stuff around us," he said.
He's setting a new challenge for himself, "to find the next positive thing to talk about, the next positive thing to get people involved."
Rainfall in millimetres as of May 24, via Environment Canada
Moose Jaw 37.4
North Battleford 36.2
Yellow Grass 33
Indian Head 30.5
Meadow Lake 30.3
Northwest of Spiritwood (Birch) 54.6
Meadow Lake area (Divde) 36.1
The rain has also reduced fire danger in the province. Southern Saskatchewan moved to a low level of fire danger from an extreme fire danger the previous week.
Last week weather conditions contributed to wildfires near Prince Albert, leaving thousands of people without power and leading to evacuations.