EAST-CENTRAL SASKATCHEWAN — Dry weather this past week, along with some windy days helped dry up many fields in the region and allowed producers to make great progress with seeding. Seventy-seven per cent of the crop is now in the ground, up from 50 per cent last week. This is still behind the five-year average (2017-2021) of 97 per cent. Although there was good progress with seeding, there may be quite a few areas that go unseeded due to excess moisture and standing water. Emerging crops are growing well and producers are happy with crop conditions so far this season.
The east-central region did not receive any rainfall this past week. Even so, their topsoil moisture conditions are still favourable for crop and pasture growth. Cropland topsoil moisture is rated as 17 per cent surplus, 61 per cent adequate, 21 per cent short and one per cent very short. Hay and pasture land is rated as nine per cent surplus, 66 per cent adequate, 20 per cent short and five per cent very short.
Twenty-three per cent of the fall cereal crops are in the shotblade stage, while nine per cent of the spring cereals are tillering. Seventeen per cent of canola and mustard is emerging and ten per cent is in the seedling stage, along with two per cent of flax in the seedling stage. Forty-nine per cent of the pulse crops are emerging and 27 per cent are in the vegetative stage.
The majority of crop damage this week was due to frost, strong winds, flea beetles and cutworms. Frost damage is being assessed on canola crops and producers are hoping it will not require reseeding.
Over the past week, producers across the Saskatchewan grain belt took advantage of dry weather that allowed for substantial progress with their seeding operations.
Ninety-one per cent of the 2022 crop has been seeded to date across all regions of the province, up from 76 per cent last week and just behind the five-year average (2017-21) of 97 per cent.
While seeding is being reported as 91 per cent complete across the province, it is important to note that there are many acres in east Saskatchewan that may not be seeded this year due to excess moisture and standing water. Some fields in the southwest and west central are being reseeded due to poor emergence and heavy insect damage.
The southwest and west-central are virtually complete with 99 per cent of their crop now seeded, 97 per cent in the northwest, 92 per cent in the northeast, 86 per cent in the southeast and 77 per cent in the east-central.
It was a relatively dry week for most of the province, however the southwest finally received some rain showers that were greatly appreciated and will hopefully improve their crop and pasture conditions. The Consul area received the most rain with 58 mm, the Maple Creek area 20 mm and the Shaunavon and Admiral areas 16 mm. More rain is desperately needed in the west-central and southwest regions. Producers in these regions are becoming anxious about how much longer their crops can survive without moisture. Dry weather allowed for many fields in the east to dry out enough to allow seeding and producers are hopeful that weather will continue to be favourable enough for them to go back out and seed low areas before the seeding window closes.
Cropland topsoil moisture is rated as six per cent surplus, 56 per cent adequate, 24 per cent short and 14 per cent very short. Hay and pasture land topsoil moisture is rated as three per cent surplus, 57 per cent adequate, 27 per cent short and 13 per cent very short. Dry conditions in the west are severely deteriorating crops in those regions and moisture is needed soon for both crop and pasture land.
Forty-five per cent of the fall cereal crops are reported as being in the jointing stage and 19 per cent are in the short blade stage, while 49 per cent of the spring cereals are emerging and 20 per cent are tillering. Thirty-eight per cent of the canola is emerging and 15 per cent is in the seedling stage, along with nine per cent of flax being in the seedling stage. Forty-nine per cent of pulse crops are emerging and 29 per cent are in the vegetative stage.
The majority of crop damage this week was due to strong winds, frost, drought, insects (including flea beetles, grasshoppers and cutworms); some farmers are reseeding due to flea beetle and cutworm damage.
Farmers have been busy spraying for weed and insect control, picking rocks, rolling lentil and moving cattle to pasture.