Seeding operations are almost complete as 94 per cent of the crop is now in the ground, according to Saskatchewan Agriculture’s weekly Crop Report. This is slightly ahead of the five-year (2012-2016) seeding average for this time of year of 93 per cent. While most producers in the province have wrapped up seeding, those in parts of the northern regions will need more time.
With 98 per cent of the crop in the ground, seeding is essentially complete in the southeastern and southwestern regions. Ninety-six per cent is seeded in the east-central region; 95 per cent in the west-central region; 88 per cent in the northwest and 84 per cent in the northeast.
Scattered rain showers throughout the week brought varying amounts of rain to the province. Most areas received trace-to-small amounts of rain, although some areas received larger amounts. A significant rain is needed in much of the province to help crops germinate and emerge and to replenish topsoil moisture.
Topsoil moisture conditions are deteriorating in many southern parts of the province. Persistent strong winds and lack of moisture are drying up fields and delaying crop maturity. There are concerns in areas of the southeast that crop and hay yields will be affected if rain is not received soon. Provincially, cropland topsoil moisture is rated as five per cent surplus, 65 per cent adequate, 26 per cent short and four per cent very short. Hay land and pasture topsoil moisture is rated as five per cent surplus, 53 per cent adequate, 32 per cent short and 10 per cent very short.
Crop development has been 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 caused by strong winds, lack of moisture, frost and insects such as flea beetles and cutworms.
Producers are busy seeding and trying to control weeds when the wind is calm.
SaskPower reports that there have been 132 reports this year of farm equipment coming in contact with power poles or lines, with 109 of those incidents happening in May. Producers are urged to be especially careful when using equipment around power lines. Safety information is available at www.saskpower.com/safety.