Seeding still appears to be off to a flying stop in some cropland on the Prairies, while field reports in Eastern Canada suggest much better luck with planting.
The Canadian Wheat Board (CWB) on Monday (May 16) reported “favourable weather” last week had allowed a “dramatic” increase in seeding progress, especially in Alberta, western Saskatchewan and some parts of eastern Saskatchewan, to the point where seeding on the Prairies is now estimated at 20 per cent complete, up from four per cent the previous Monday but well below the seasonal norm of just over 50 per cent.
Provinc ial ag ministry officials in Ontario on Wednesday reported “significant” progress in corn planting since last Sunday (May 8), with some areas reporting planting 30 to 50 per cent complete, particularly in light- and medium-textured soils. About one to three per cent of the province’s soybean crop had also been planted as of Wednesday.
Provincial crops specialist Peter Johnson said Saturday (May 14) on Twitter that some spots north of London had just seen up to three inches of rain, while other farmers were still planting, wrapping up in their cornfields and in some soybean plots.
In Quebec, the farm newspaper La Terre de Chez Nous reported Thursday that planting of corn and cereals had started in some regions.
The Saskatchewan ag ministry on Thursday reported five per cent of the 2011 crop was seeded effective Monday (May 9), down from the five-year (2006-10) average of 14 per cent.
The southwest reported 13 per cent of acres seeded and the southeastern and west-central regions are reporting five per cent, the province said. One per cent of the crop is seeded in the east-central, northeastern and northwestern regions.
One northeastern Saskatchewan reader, RJ at Tisdale, posted in the Comments section below on May 7 that wheat seeding had begun May 6 but would be halted that night until late the following week by four-fifths of an inch of rain. Further south, Larry from Punnichy wrote on May 5 that he didn’t expect to get seeding started until about May 20.
Most Saskatchewan producers “got a late start to field work due to excess moisture,” the province reiterated, adding most areas “reported rain last week that will further delay seeding.”
Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Initiatives, in its weekly crop report Monday, reported slow seeding progress in most areas. In the province’s southwest, “seeding has just begun only on fields that can be travelled on,” while in central regions, seeding is only about five per cent complete, except in potato country around Carberry, where 20 to 30 per cent of potatoes are planted, the province said.
In the province’s northwest, Interlake and southeast, seeding progress remains slow and in most cases, start dates remain delayed, the province said.
“Producers in many parts of Manitoba and southeastern Saskatchewan will need another week of dry weather before seeding can begin,” the CWB said Monday.
“Aside from a system that may create scattered showers in Alberta and parts of southern Saskatchewan, the forecast looks good for seeding into the long weekend.”
We know conditions still range from unfavourable to underwater for most farmers so far this spring, but if you’re seeding or planting crops yet anywhere in Canada, or you know someone who is, we want to hear from you. Also, if you’ve got photographic evidence of spring seeding going on, we’d love to see it — and we’ll be sure to post the best of the reports and photos here on our sites.
Include your comments below or drop us an email with your reports and/or photos. Be sure to let us know where you are and where the work is being done — and any other details you can spare would be appreciated:
- What’s being seeded or planted?
- How many acres have you been able to work so far?
- In what condition is your soil?
- What kind of equipment are you using?
- Have you resorted to unusual measures (broadcast seeding, airplane)?
Don’t hesitate to contact us — and watch this site for updates.
— Dave Bedard is the news editor for Farm Business Communications’ websites.