As Saskatchewan farmers wrap up the last bit of seeding, there’s abundant optimism for this year’s crop.
“Our moisture conditions are good right now,” said Dave Shepherd, location manager for AgriTeam in Glaslyn, in north-western Saskatchewan. The crops, he added, are “looking really good.”
West of Glaslyn, things are progressing nicely, said Ian Weber, sales manager with Warrington AgroDynamic in Mervin. Emergence is looking good. “Things are jumping, that’s for sure.”
It’s the same story through much of the province. While dry pockets still linger, the latest Saskatchewan Crop Report noted that crops are rated as good to excellent overall. Topsoil moisture on cropland is rated as 86 per cent adequate, eight per cent surplus and six per cent short. Pasture and hayland topsoil is also generally good, at 84 per cent adequate.
Some areas see flooding, hail, insects
Many areas welcomed rain in the last week, which should boost crop emergence in areas that were still dry. But some areas could stand to turn down the taps. Flooding was reported in the southeast, southwest, and east-central areas. The south-western community of Shaunavon has received the most rain so far this spring—216 mm since April 1st.
The crop report also noted hail in the Turtleford and Barthel area, although there wasn’t much damage expected. Shepherd said hail hit peas in the Glaslyn area, but he expects the crop to recover.
Some farmers in the southeast, central, and northeast areas are seeing insect damage from flea beetles or cutworms. Tent caterpillars are also damaging trees in the southeast, according to the crop report.
Weber said some farmers in his area were spraying for flea beetles. “It’s still not as bad as other years,” he said. Better emergence and lack of frost mean crops are relatively resilient. Weber only knew of one farmer spraying for cutworms.
Shepherd said he hadn’t heard of farmers spraying for insects so far in his area. Overall, everything is as good as anyone can expect, he said. Even canola that was touched by frost earlier this year has bounced back, he added.
Weber was also happy with crop conditions this year. He was especially impressed by early weed control efforts this spring.
“Anywhere where guys did a burn-off, the results are pretty amazing. Fields are clean,” said Weber.
Over the next week, farmers will be spraying peas, and doing their first pass in canola, if they haven’t already, Weber said.
Shepherd noted nitrogen prices are softening a little more than normal. He also said now was a good time to do some forward pricing.