BATTLEFORDS - The northwest has continued week after week to make great strides in seeding and producers in this region now have 84 per cent of their crop in the ground, according to the crop report for the period of May 16 to 22. This is up from 55 per cent last week and is well ahead of the five-year average of 74 per cent, producers are finishing seeding faster than they ever have before due to warm dry conditions that have continued since seeding began at the start of May.
Parts of the northwest finally received precipitation this past week. In areas of higher rainfall, producers are hopeful it will help the crop emerge and establish. The Livelong areas received the most moisture with 21 mm, the Barthel and Mayfair areas 18 mm and the Hafford area 10 mm. More rain is needed as the region is experiencing drier than normal conditions for this time of year.
Cropland topsoil moisture is rated as 49 per cent adequate, 39 per cent short and 12 per cent very short. Hay and pastureland topsoil moisture is rated as 44 per cent adequate, 33 per cent short and 23 per cent very short.
Pastures in the region are struggling through the dry conditions and grass growth has been slow. Pasture conditions are rated as 26 per cent good, 27 per cent fair, 32 per cent poor and 15 per cent very poor. A good soaking rain is needed to help pastures rapidly regrow and offset the pressure of grazing animals.
Overall, crop development is ahead or normal for this time of year, largely due to the early seeding start and dry conditions. There were no reports of crop damage to note in the region over the week, but producers will be on the lookout for any potential risks to their crops.