Eastern Prairies racing to seed acres

Producers in the eastern regions of Canada’s Prairies are hoping to get seed in the ground where possible before more precipitation events hit the region.

Drier weather in select areas of eastern Saskatchewan and southern Manitoba have allowed producers to begin seeding operations, but those operations may be temporary, said Drew Lerner, a meteorologist with World Weather Inc. of Kansas City.

A storm system building in the northern U.S. Plains was expected to drop some rain in the eastern Prairies, with the heaviest amounts hitting where the Manitoba, Saskatchewan and North Dakota boundaries meet.

Precipitation amounts were forecast to be in the 20- to 35-millimetre range, but amounts could easily climb to over 45 mm, if the system lingers over the area, Lerner said.

“This will move in on Friday and Saturday, maybe going on into Sunday a bit,” he said. “Saturday will probably be the wettest day.”

Producers in the region can then expect another brief stretch of drier weather afterward, before some additional precipitation occurs.

The dry weather stretch may be only a few days to maybe a week.

As for the remainder of the Prairie growing region, weather conditions have been conducive to seeding operations, Lerner said.

“There’s been a good mixture of warm temperatures and drier conditions for seeding in western Saskatchewan into Alberta,” Lerner said.

However, he cautioned that the more northerly areas of both Saskatchewan and Alberta have been on the drier side, which may be some concern for germination of recently seeded crops.

“I wouldn’t call the conditions in those areas a drought, but it has been some time since significant moisture has fallen in some of those regions,” Lerner said.

The longer-range outlook calls for some precipitation events in the dry areas of northern Alberta and Saskatchewan, but not until early June.

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