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Sask., Man. seeding practically done

Saskatchewan’s farmers have seeded 99 per cent of its 2008 crop, while Manitoba is wrapping up reseeding on frost-damaged fields, the two provinces’ ag departments reported Monday.

Fields in both provinces stood to gain from rainfall last week, the provinces said in their weekly crop reports. Southwestern Saskatchewan got the majority of rainfall there, followed by the east-central and southeastern regions. Rainfall in Manitoba ranged from very timely in the southwest to excessive in areas of the Interlake, around Fisher Branch, Riverton and Arborg.

About 57 per cent of Saskatchewan’s crop land and 46 per cent of its hay and pasture land has adequate topsoil moisture, the provincial ag ministry said.

Manitoba producers, many of whom continued to receive rain Monday, were generally now waiting for sunshine and warmer temperatures to improve lacklustre crop development.

Gophers, drought and insects including flea beetles, wireworms, cutworms and pea leaf weevils caused the most crop damage in Saskatchewan’s report, followed by frost, wind and diseases such as tan spot and damping off. Herbicides are being applied for weed control as weather allows, the province said.

While frost led directly to reseeding in several areas of Manitoba, producers in the southwest were also reseeding some canola due to poor development. Wind damage also forced some reseeding, as did wild oat problems in some oat crops and some cutworm and flea beetle injury in canola, all in the province’s south-central region — where cleanup continued due to topsoil and straw blown into ditches and drains during recent heavy winds.

Weed problems in several regions of Manitoba were at least as delayed as many crops, while both crops and weeds wait for warm sunny days to spur development, Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Initiatives reported. Weed control was expected to continue in most regions as soon as spraying conditions allow.

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