LETHBRIDGE -- Years of drought have left southern Alberta farmers frustrated.

With a lack of snow this winter – particularly in the mountains – most are once again bracing for a tough growing season.

"It's looking to be a tricky year, for sure," said Sean Stanford, a farmer from Magrath, Alta.

"I know on my irrigated land, they're already talking about cutting back the amount of water we can put down through our pivots and wheel moves. … So it's going to be trickier on the irrigated land, for sure."

Producers are looking at less water-intensive crops such as lentils, peas, wheat and flax.

Some are trying crops they've never grown before.

"Just looking at how the drought maps look and the way they're talking about lack of moisture this year, I'm going to try to put some mustard on some dry land and see how that works out for me," Stanford said.

Corn is one crop that's fairly drought-resistant.

While it still needs plenty of water, it does a better job tolerating heat than many other crops.

But even corn farmers say it may be a challenging year.

"Our early season corn, you know you can get away with starving it a little bit with water and conserve your water for when cloud formations begin. Our later season corn, the reality is when it's hot, we'd like to use more water," said James Johnson, owner-operator of Johnson Fresh Farms in Barnwell, Alta.

Many are still holding out hope that more significant snowfall is on the way.

"That would definitely give everyone some piece of mind – just knowing that there's a bunch of snow up there and not having to bank on rain coming because over the last couple years, that definitely hasn't happened," Johnson said.

Water allocations are yet to be decided.

The Lethbridge Northern Irrigation District has already told its users they should prepare for the possibility of not getting their full allocation this year.