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Seeding is finished, rainy conditions hinder progress

A week of sunny and windy weather has helped to dry some areas and improve crop conditions as seeding is basically done for the year.

A week of sunny and windy weather has helped to dry some areas and improve crop conditions as seeding is basically done for the year. According to Saskatchewan Agricultures weekly crop report, flooding continues to cause major crop damage across the province.Essentially seeding is over, due to high moisture conditions, said crop specialist Elaine Moats. Thunderstorms, heavy rain and hail continue as a factor in some areas.The crop report states the majority of crops which are seeded are in fair to good condition, although they are behind normal in development. Daryl Macmillan, a farmer in the Colfax area, said, I seeded 1,300 acres. I got everything done except for 100 acres. I seeded canola, lentils, barley and flax. On the crop that I did seed theres drown out.Moats said, Some people are seeding to preserve the soil quality for next year. People are considering whether to seed oats or barley as a cover crop to preserve the soil and will seed as it dries.Richard Wawro, a farmer northwest of Cedoux, said, I got 80 per cent in. I seeded a variety, mainly wheat, canary seed, lentils, peas and canola.Cropland topsoil moisture is rated as 51 per cent surplus, 48 per cent adequate and one per cent short. Soil has been seriously wet and wind erosion is happening. Farmers are thinking of the future and are managing those fields, explained Moats.Of the soil in the Cedoux area, Wawro said, Its drying up nicely. There is water still standing but the last week its gone a long way and is drying up. If we got a little rain it would be all right, as long as its not a big downpour.In the weekly crop report, 56 per cent of the provinces fall-seeded cereals are at a normal stage of development, but 72 per cent of the spring-seeded cereals, 75 per cent of the oilseeds and 63 per cent of the pulses are behind in development.The crop report also indicated 91 and 86 per cent of the winter wheat and fall rye are in good to excellent conditions, respectively, while 82 per cent of the spring wheat, 85 per cent of the durum, 76 per cent of the barley, 79 per cent of the oats, 73 per cent of the flax, 73 per cent of the canola, 91 per cent of the mustard, 85 per cent of the lentils, 84 per cent of the peas, 80 per cent of the canary seed and 98 per cent of the chickpeas are in good to fair conditions.Wawro said, I think theres probably 20 per cent (flooding) damage in the wheat, canola and peas area. The lentils are much worse than 20 per cent, probably around 40 per cent at the least, and I dont know if it will fully recover.Pasture conditions continue to improve and are rated as 56 per cent excellent, 37 per cent good, six per cent fair and one per cent poor. About 99 per cent of livestock producers have adequate water supplies for their livestock. Topsoil moisture on hay land and pasture is rated as 30 per cent surplus, 69 per cent adequate and one per cent short.Haying is getting underway in the southern areas of the province. With the tremendous rainfall there has been growth of grain and alfalfa, but the fields are very wet so there are concerns. There are a few people starting haying operations, Moats said.Farmers are controlling weeds and scouting fields for diseases. Macmillan said, There is some disease but the (crop) is coming back. Lentils took the biggest hit and is very patchy, said Macmillan. He plans on leaving the 100 acres he didnt get seeded as summerfallow and he has the weeds under control.Leaf disease and insects are causing crop damage as well, which was recorded in the crop report. I have sprayed canary seed and peas for disease, but I havent looked for disease and also I havent seen any bugs. There are not many grasshoppers, the odd one here and there, but its quiet on the bug situation, said Wawro.Farmers are trying to spray but its really muddy and damage to the crop is done when they get stuck. Farmers can use the weeds to prevent erosion by killing the weeds and leaving the plant stand, said Moats. Wawro is close to being done spraying but the lentils are left due to flooding and will be delayed for at least a week.There are concerns regarding herbicides, as there is every year. Farmers get in a hurry and spray in (under less than ideal) conditions and the herbicides drift and move to another field. It is important for producers to minimize the potential for non-target crop damage, said Moats.