Seeding is advancing quickly in the province thanks to warm, dry weather. Producers now have 60 per cent of the provincial crop in the ground, according to Saskatchewan Agriculture’s weekly Crop Report. The five-year (2012-2016) seeding average for this time of year is 65 per cent. Many producers have completed seeding operations while others will need several more weeks of warm, dry weather. At this time, it is estimated that five per cent of acres will not be seeded due to excess moisture.
Seeding is most advanced in the southeast, where producers have 80 per cent of the crop in the ground. Seventy-six per cent is seeded in the southwest; 59 per cent in the west-central region; 53 per cent in the east-central region; 43 per cent in the northwest and 25 per cent in the northeast.
Much of the province did not receive any moisture this past week, although the Vonda area reported 18 mm. Fields remain wet in more northern regions while fields in other parts of the province are in need of rain to help crops germinate and emerge.
Provincially, cropland topsoil moisture is rated as 11 per cent surplus, 79 per cent adequate, nine per cent short and one per cent very short. Hay land and pasture topsoil moisture is rated as seven per cent surplus, 76 per cent adequate, 15 per cent short and two per cent very short.
The majority of crops are either at or behind normal developmental stages for this time of year. Overall, emerged crops are in good condition, although there has been some damage caused by strong winds, localized flooding and lack of moisture. Hard frost last week damaged some alfalfa, winter cereal and canola fields; some fields will be re-seeded in the coming weeks.
Pasture conditions are rated as 15 per cent excellent, 53 per cent good, 24 per cent fair, seven per cent poor and one per cent very poor.
SaskPower reports that there were 23 power line contacts involving farm equipment between May 15 and 21 (67 in May to date), and encourages farmers to use caution. Safety information is available at www.saskpower.com/safety.
Producers are busy seeding, controlling weeds and moving cattle.