PREECEVILLE - Seeding is in full swing across the west central and producers now have 14 per cent of their crop in the ground, this is just behind the five-year average of 16 per cent. Producers were delayed by cool weather in early spring but not delayed by excess moisture like other regions of the province.
Producers are already raising concerns about how dry their cropland and pastures are and would like to see it rain in the coming weeks. Cereals and pulses are the main crops that have been seeded so far with some producers waiting to seed canola until they get some rain.
There were small general showers near the Marengo area with recorded rainfall ranging from 19 to 35 mm. This rainfall will help any seeded crops germinate and help pastures regrow. There were smaller showers across the region ranging from two to 13 mm, this will likely not be enough to change any of the dry conditions felt by producers in those areas. There are fire bans in place in the region and producers are reminded to be careful while conducting field activities due to the high chance of grass fires being caused by sparking or hot equipment.
Topsoil moisture conditions have greatly improved compared to the previous two growing seasons, however, producers do hope for more rain in the forecast. Cropland topsoil moisture is rated as 52 per cent adequate, 43 per cent short and 5 per cent very short. Hay and pasture are rated as 43 per cent adequate, 49 per cent short and 8 per cent very short. Pastures in parts of the western half of the region are reported to be regrowing nicely after two very dry years. Producers in other parts of the regions are wary about how long the pastures will hold their cattle and if the current water supplies will remain safe without additional rain.
Producers who can, have started moving their herds to pastures as on farm feed supplies begin to diminish. Others are busy spraying pre-seed herbicide and picking rocks to prep fields for seeding. Strong winds hampered their ability to spray for several days so producers may choose to forego the pre-seed herbicide and simply seed instead.