PREECEVILLE - Warm, dry weather this past week allowed many producers to seed without delay, according to the crop report for the period of May 16 to 22, 2023. Seeding progress has reached 58 per cent, up from 21 per cent and is on par with the five-year average, which is very reassuring for producers in the region. The early seeded crops that have emerged look very good, but producers also report that weed growth has been rapid, they will be busy performing infield herbicide applications to ensure weeds do not compete with their crops.
Very few parts of the region received rainfall over the past week and some producers in the drier part of the region are concerned about the lack of moisture. The Kenaston area received 15 mm of rain, the Allan area 13 mm and the Craik area 11 mm. This moisture will help emerging crops and pasture grasses for a brief time.
Hot, windy weather has quickly dried out soil across the region. Cropland topsoil moisture is now rated as 65 per cent adequate, 30 per cent short and 5 per cent very short. Hay and pasture land topsoil moisture is rated as 56 per cent adequate, 35 per cent short and 9 per cent very short. Pasture conditions are rated as 3 per cent excellent, 38 per cent good, 38 per cent fair, 16 per cent poor and 5 per cent very poor. The majority of cattle are now on pasture with the remaining herds expected to be moved in the next week.
Overall, most of the crops are at the normal stages of development for this time of year due to the cool wet conditions in April and early May, which delayed seeding for several weeks.
Most of the crop damage this week was from frost and flea beetles, which have been reported to be a large issue in some parts of the region. Some garden crops have been decimated by the pest since very little canola has emerged. Producers will be very vigilant of their canola and will spray the flea beetles if their population reaches economic thresholds.