Man., Sask. seeding resume

Saskatchewan farmers are slightly behind their five-year average in terms of seeding progress, while many Manitoba farmers are back on the fields after a cold spell the previous week.

Saskatchewan’s agriculture ministry reports four per cent of the 2008 crop in the ground as of May 4, up from one per cent the previous week but down from the six per cent average (2003-07). Southern regions of the province are furthest ahead at nine and 10 per cent complete, while east central areas were two per cent seeded and others less than one per cent done.

On a per crop basis, the ministry said, 18 per cent of peas, nine per cent of lentils, six per cent of triticale and five per cent of durum are reported planted. All other crops are less than five per cent seeded.

Similarly, Manitoba’s southern regions are reported to be furthest along in seeding, with between 75 and 85 per cent of cereal acres seeded, the provincial agriculture department said in its report for the week ending May 5.

Oilseed crops were 15 to 20 per cent seeded in Manitoba’s southwest and up to 50 per cent seeded in the south-central area around Morris, Carman, Altona and Starbuck.

Seeding progress had also been made on cereal crops as far northwest as Dauphin and Swan River, although no seeding activity had yet been reported in the northern end of the Interlake region, between Lakes Winnipeg and Manitoba. Most regions reported fall-seeded crops to be in good condition although developing slowly.

Topsoil moisture conditions are adequate on 70 per cent of Saskatchewan’s grainbelt, which the province considered an improvement from last week. Areas of surplus moisture are shrinking in northern regions; areas of short and very short topsoil moisture are smaller in the southwest, but increasing in the southeast.

Farmers in Manitoba’s far southwest were reported to be reconsidering their seeding intentions unless more rain comes soon, the province said. But soil moisture in eastern Manitoba was rated as mostly ideal, with some spots still too wet to seed. Snowfall Sunday delayed seeding in some central areas west of Winnipeg by a day. The Interlake reported mostly good moisture on cultivated land.

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