Seeding operations may be largely wrapped up by the May long weekend with the warm, dry weather, unless some forecasted weather stalls the planting for a few days.
According to Sask. Agriculture’s crop report, the southeast as a whole was 44 per cent done as of Thursday, with the Weyburn crop district (2A) at 63 per cent completion, and the Lake Alma-Radville area at 75 per cent done. Provincially, seeding was 38 per cent completed as of Thursday.
For Weyburn-area farmer Dale Mainil, he and his crew were able to be finished seeding over the weekend after starting on May 3, and he said most of the producers in his area should be done by the long weekend.
He is hoping for some rain now with the crops in the ground, as there isn’t much reserve moisture in the subsoil layers.
“There is moisture, but the problem is when you seed into the ground, it opens it up,” said Mainil, noting some of his early-emerging crops are coming up well so far.
“With canola and canaryseed, some of the seeds are lying in dry soil, and with a day like today (Monday) with the wind and 30-degree temperatures, it really pulls the water out,” he said.
“We need a good inch or more. We don’t have any reserves like we did last year,” said Mainil, pointing out that lots of moisture was received in 2019, which provided enough reserves through the dry times last summer.
“We’re going to be relying on some timely rains,” he added.
Some of his neighbours had started seeding as early as April 26 or 27, but he and his sons decided to wait until the weather warmed up more before they started seeding.
The need for moisture isn’t just in this region, he added, but is needed in the area from southern Alberta to Winnipeg, and down into North Dakota and Montana.
For this growning year, his farm has seeded durum, canaryseed, canola and lentils.
Cropland moisture conditions diminished slightly over the past week with zero per cent rated as surplus, 21 per cent adequate, 56 per cent short and 23 per cent very short.
In addition to the need for rain on crop lands, livestock water supply shortages are also being keenly felt, with the region rated as 30 per cent severe, 46 per cent moderate and 24 per cent adequate.
Hay and pasture land is rated as six per cent adequate, 48 per cent short and 46 per cent very short of moisture.