SASKATCHEWAN — Seeding progress is still slower than average but more producers were able to get out over the past week.
Provincially, 14 per cent of crops are now seeded, up from one per cent last week and behind the five-year average (2017-2021) of 23 per cent.
Crops that were seeded over the past two weeks should be emerging if moisture conditions are favourable. In areas of the southwest and west-central regions where conditions are very dry, germination could be uneven.
The southwest region has 34 per cent of their crop seeded, followed by 20 per cent in the west-central, seven per cent in the southeast, five per cent in the northwest, three per cent in the east-central and one per cent in the northeast. Many fields in the eastern half of the province are still too wet to allow producers to seed, full-scale seeding is still a week away in some parts of the province.
Various amounts of precipitation were received across the province; this rain is needed badly in some areas that are too dry for proper germination. However, it will likely lead to longer delays in areas of the eastern regions where moisture is already high. The most rain reported was in the Pelly area with 49 mm, followed by 46 mm in the Bienfait area. The Shaunavon area received 26 mm and the Hazenmore area received 18 mm, which is good to see in the southwest since much of the crop is already in the ground and moisture has been limited in the region.
Due to widespread precipitation across the province, topsoil moisture has slightly improved from last week's report. Cropland topsoil moisture is rated as six per cent surplus, 58 per cent adequate, 26 per cent short and 10 per cent very short. Hay and pastureland moisture is rated as two per cent surplus, 56 per cent adequate, 29 per cent short and 13 per cent very short. This increase in moisture will help pastures grow rapidly.
Many livestock producers have reported that the recent rain helped fill their dugouts and they feel confident that, for the time-being, water quality shouldn't be an issue. However, producers in the southwest and west-central have concerns about water levels and are making plans to haul water if conditions do not improve. Heavy rains throughout the summer will be needed to ensure that water availability does not become a widespread concern.
Producers continue working in their fields seeding, harrowing, rock-picking and rolling. When the weather allows, producers are spraying and seeding. Producers are reminded to be safe during their field activities and when transporting equipment across or alongside roadways. When working in extremely dry areas, especially pastures, ensure sparks or any other fire starter is controlled and a water source is available.
More and more producers in the region have been able to get into their fields and begin their seeding operations, mainly in the west half of the region. Seven per cent of the crop is now in the ground which is well behind the five-year average (2017-2021) of 27 per cent. Producers in the east half of the region are waiting for their fields to dry out enough so they can begin their seeding and spraying operations.
A large weather system moved through the region over the past week bringing with it some significant amounts of rain in some areas. The Bienfait area received 46 mm, the Outram and Redvers areas 32 mm and the Moosomin and Tantallon areas received 28 mm. This rain will continue to improve topsoil moisture and refill dugouts, but it will also cause further delays to many producers.
The recent precipitation has greatly improved the topsoil moisture conditions for much of the region, especially the far southeast corner around the Carnduff area. Cropland topsoil moisture is rated as 16 per cent surplus, 76 per cent adequate, six per cent short and two per cent very short. Hay and pastureland is rated as four per cent surplus, 77 per cent adequate, 17 per cent short and two per cent very short. The recent rain will help pastures grow rapidly and fill dugouts.
There is not much field activity due to wet field conditions, most of the work is being done in the west half of the region where seeding and spraying is underway.
Producers across the southwest were able to keep their seeding operations going this past week with only minor delays due to rain. Thirty-four per cent of the 2022 crop is now in the ground, which is just slightly ahead of the five-year average (2017-2021) of 29 per cent. Conditions are incredibly dry and producers are noting the amount of dust created during seeding. Rain is needed to provide adequate moisture for germination and plant establishment.
Much of the region received precipitation this past week from 1.5 mm in the Consul area to 26 mm in the Shaunavon area. The Gull Lake area received 23 mm, the Hazenmore area 18 mm and the Vanguard, Mossbank, and Swift Current areas received 16 mm.
With the recent rainfall in many parts of the region, topsoil ratings slightly improved but are still not at adequate levels to support good germination and pasture growth. Cropland topsoil moisture is rated as 46 per cent adequate, 36 per cent short and 18 per cent very short. Hay and pastureland is rated as 39 per cent adequate, 38 per cent short and 23 per cent very short.
Producers are busy testing water sources on their pastures to ensure the quality is safe for their livestock. They are also moving more cattle to pastures that were the first to green up this spring. Windy conditions have stalled many spraying operations and they are likely going to have to wait till after seeding to take care of the weeds in their fields.
Seeding is delayed in most parts of the region; snow has been slow to melt and recent large rainstorms have left the fields very wet. Currently, three per cent of the 2022 crop is now in the ground, this is just behind the five-year average (2017-2021) of nine per cent. Seeding may be in full swing by next week.
Many parts of the region received good amounts of rainfall. Amounts varied but the most was received in the Pelly area with 49 mm, the Kelvington area 36 mm, the Esterhazy area 28 mm, the Calder area 18 mm and the Bethune area 13 mm. This rain has further delayed field activities but has allowed for creeks to flow, dugouts to fill and pastures to green up.
Moisture levels have improved slightly with recent heavy rains in much of the region. Cropland moisture levels are rated as seven per cent surplus, 71 per cent adequate, 21 per cent short and one per cent very short. Hay and pastureland are rated as five per cent surplus, 61 per cent adequate, 27 per cent short and seven per cent very short. Soil moisture appears to be more than adequate for seed germination and there should not be any moisture concerns in the far east portion of the region for the time being.
Livestock producers have been busy finishing branding so they can move their cattle to pasture, there is little concern over water availability for livestock due to good runoff and heavy rains. Spraying is being done in the western half of the region and seeders are following close behind, almost all producers are seeding in this part of the region.
Seeding is advancing quickly due to very dry conditions and warm weather. 20 per cent of the crop is in the ground, well ahead of the five-year average (2017-2021) of 13 per cent. Mostly cereals and pulses have been seeded so far with some producers beginning to seed canola. There have been reports of shortages of pulse inoculants across the region which may lead to delayed seeding or poor crop establishment. Soil conditions are extremely dry in the region and producers are concerned their seed could blow away in the wind or not germinate. Rain is needed in the region.
Little rain was reported for the region over the past week, the Outlook area received the most with 18 mm reported, followed by the Hanley and Eyebrow areas with 12 mm. Most of the region received one to two mm of rain which will do very little to improve their moisture conditions. Producers need to be careful while conducting field activities in dry conditions due to the high chance of grass fires being caused by sparking or hot equipment.
Topsoil moisture conditions are very poor in the region and producers are hoping for widespread rain. Cropland topsoil moisture is rated as 20 per cent adequate, 51 per cent short and 29 per cent very short. Hay and pastureland are rated as 13 per cent adequate, 56 per cent short and 31 per cent very short. Some pastures in the region are not growing fast enough and some producers predict they won’t be useable until June if rain is not received soon. Dugouts through the region experienced poor recharge and water quality is already a concern to livestock producers.
Producers who can, have started moving their herds to pastures as feed supplies begin to dwindle. Producers are busy spraying pre-seed herbicide and picking rocks to prep fields for seeding.
Very little seeding has occurred in the region due to excessively wet field conditions, one per cent of the 2022 crop has been seeded in the region this is behind the five-year average (2017-2021) of six per cent. The crops that have been seeded so far are mostly wheat and pulses such as field peas.
There were good amounts of rainfall reported across the region this past week, causing further delays to field work being conducted. The Nipawin area received 44 mm, the Garrick area 37 mm, the Lake Lenore and Melfort areas 24 mm and the Hudson Bay area 16 mm. This precipitation will continue the recharge of dugouts and other water bodies and help ensure cattle have adequate water supplies as we move into the summer.
Pastures have been slow to green up in the region and cattle producers hope to have the rest of their cattle out grazing soon. Topsoil moisture conditions this week are rated as 15 per cent surplus, 84 per cent adequate and two per cent short. Hay and pasture levels were rated as seven per cent surplus, 89 per cent adequate and four per cent short.
Most producers are still waiting for snow to melt or fields to dry. General field work is estimated to be a week away.
Seeding is under way throughout the southern half of the region with most of the northern half still waiting for field conditions to improve enough to begin field work. Five per cent of the crop has been seeded, which is behind the five-year average (2017-2021) of 12 per cent. More producers will begin seeding in the next week to ten days.
Small, scattered rainstorms occurred over the week, resulting in some minor precipitation. The most was received in the St. Walburg areas with seven mm, the Meadow Lake, Prince Albert and Spiritwood areas received five mm and several areas in the region reported one to three mm of rainfall.
Recent warm weather has allowed pastures to green up and producers who were struggling with on-farm feed supplies are now moving cattle to pasture while in the north parts of the region, pastures will not be ready for two to three more weeks. Cropland topsoil moisture conditions are rated as four per cent surplus, 62 per cent adequate, 32 per cent short and three per cent very short. Hay and pastureland is rated as two per cent surplus, 60 per cent adequate, 26 per cent short and 12 per cent very short.