The majority of the province received much-needed moisture this past week, helping to alleviate concerns about dry field conditions.
The amount of rain varied across the province, with some southwestern areas receiving very little, while many fields in the southeast are saturated and flooded. The Lampman area received 256 mm of rain. Fields and roads are flooded in many areas of the southeast and it will be some time before they are dry enough to be accessed. In contrast, the southwestern region remains very dry as it has received little rainfall over the past few months. There are concerns that crop and hay yields in the region will be affected if rain does not arrive soon.
Topsoil moisture conditions have improved in much of the province, thanks to the recent rainfall. Provincially, topsoil moisture conditions on cropland are rated as 12 per cent surplus, 67 per cent adequate, 18 per cent short and three per cent very short. Hay land and pasture topsoil moisture is rated as seven per cent surplus, 63 per cent adequate, 25 per cent short and five per cent very short.
Seeding operations are nearing completion, although the rain will delay progress in some areas. Ninety-six per cent of the crop is now seeded, up from 91 per cent last week and well ahead of the five-year (2013-2017) average of 90 per cent for this time of year. Seeding is furthest advanced in the south, where 98 per cent of the crop seeded. Ninety-seven per cent is seeded in the west-central region, 96 per cent in the northeast and northwest and 93 per cent in the east-central region.
Crop growth is delayed in much of the province and most crops are behind their normal developmental stages for this time of year. The majority of crop damage this past week was due to localized flooding, lack of moisture, hail, strong winds and insects such as flea beetles and cutworms.
Farmers are busy finishing seeding and completing in-crop pesticide applications when they can.
SaskPower received six reports of farm machinery coming in contact with electrical equipment in the last week. The total for May was 154. No incidents have been reported so far in June. SaskPower reminds producers to be aware of their surroundings at all times and to plan ahead when moving equipment. More safety information is available on the SaskPower Safety web page.