Oilseed growers in parched areas of southern and central Saskatchewan and southwestern Manitoba are delaying seeding until they see more rain.
In its crop report Monday, Saskatchewan’s agriculture ministry reported seeding provincewide as 25 per cent complete, above the 2003-07 average of 20 per cent.
Also on Monday, Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Initiatives reported the majority of cereal crops to be seeded across the province, with about 30 per cent of canola and flax seeded in the far southwest and canola nearly all seeded in the east-central region, just west of the Red River.
The Canadian Wheat Board on Monday reported seeding at about 28 per cent complete across the three Prairie provinces, noting wet soil conditions delaying seeding in northern cropping areas of Alberta and Saskatchewan. The CWB also noted “extremely dry” southern areas overall.
Cool daytime temperatures, dropping to below freezing overnight, have led to slow development of winter wheat crops as well as hayland and pasture across much of Manitoba, the provincial government said, with some cases of winterkill or damage to winter wheat crops in the southwest and Interlake. Saskatchewan also reported cool conditions slowing down fieldwork, germination and growth of grass and hay.
While farmers in Manitoba’s southwest held off waiting for rain, farmers in the south-central and eastern farming regions of the province reported quick to “excellent” progress in seeding during the past week. Generally, however, conditions as seen in the Manitoba Co-operator’s May 12 precipitation map are
dry and most farmers provincewide report they could use some rain.
“For most producers, some precipitation would be welcome, provided it was followed by warmer weather and clear skies,” crop reporters from eastern Manitoba wrote Monday.
Some areas of both provinces got their wish with rain Sunday night and into Monday, too late to factor in either province’s report until next week.
In Saskatchewan, seeding was reported most advanced in the southeast at 46 per cent, and least in the northwest at seven per cent. Early-seeded crops are reported as emerging in the province’s south.
Soil moisture on cropland deteriorated slightly from the previous week, Saskatchewan’s crop reporters said, with 65 per cent of crop land seeing adequate topsoil moisture and 35 per cent either “short” or “very short.”