Seeding is underway for many producers, with more expecting to hit the field in the coming week. Nine per cent of the crop is now in the ground, behind the five-year (2013- 2017) seeding average of 19 per cent for this time of year.
A slow start to spring has delayed field operations in much of the province. Seeding is furthest advanced in the southwestern region, where 18 per cent of the crop is in the ground. Fifteen per cent is seeded in the southeast, while all other regions in the province are reporting three per cent seeded. Little to no rainfall was reported last week in most regions, with the Swift Current area receiving the most – 9.5 mm. Many areas received rain earlier this week that will help with the dry field conditions.
Strong and warm winds have dried fields throughout the province, and many producers will need rain in the coming weeks to help crops germinate and establish. Provincially, topsoil moisture conditions on cropland are rated as three per cent surplus, 67 per cent adequate, 25 per cent short and five per cent very short.
Hay land and pasture topsoil moisture is rated as two per cent surplus, 55 per cent adequate, 31 per cent short and 12 per cent very short. Winter wheat assessment continues as fields green up. Pasture and hay land growth has been slow and some cattle producers are supplementing feed. There have been multiple reports of grass and stubble fires due to the dry conditions and rain would be welcomed to help alleviate concerns.
Farmers are busy seeding, working fields, controlling weeds and moving cattle.
SaskPower reports 25 cases of farm machinery coming into contact with electrical equipment over the last week, bringing the total for this month to 27. SaskPower reminds producers that most farming-related incidents happen during seeding and spraying. Check for overhead lines before beginning your work. More safety information is available at the SaskPower website.