Moisture conditions may be generally better than a year ago but producers in large parts of Saskatchewan and Manitoba would no doubt still welcome some rain right about now.
As the precipitation map below shows, significant portions of both provinces have seen well below average precipitation over the last 30 days, including huge areas where 40% or less of normal precipitation has fallen (shown in red). The 60-day map shows much the same pattern, although the driest areas have expanded over the last month.
Alberta has fared relatively better, with some northern portions of the province too wet.
The latest weekly Manitoba and Saskatchewan crop reports both note the need for rain, with high winds in some cases further exacerbating the lack of precipitation.
Across Saskatchewan, cropland topsoil moisture was rated 34% short to very short as of Monday, up sharply from 19% short to very short just a week earlier. However, that remains well below a year earlier when topsoil moisture was rated 78% short to very short and almost all crops in the province were getting off to very poor starts.
Topsoil moisture in Saskatchewan’s east-central region was rated 52% short to very short as of Monday, the worst in the province, followed by the southeast at 40%, the southwest at 35% and the west-central at 34%. Topsoil moisture in the northeast and northwest is generally adequate.
In Manitoba, the crop report said some seed remains stranded in dry soil, as the top layer of the ground has dried out even as the subsoil remains wet or saturated from last fall’s heavy rain. Some emergence problems were also reported in the province due to the dry weather. However, the report did also note standing water in low-lying areas of fields west of the escarpment in the province’s central region.
Meanwhile, the latest forecast from World Weather Inc. suggests rain is on the way for many areas of Saskatchewan (as well as Alberta) over the weekend. However, Manitoba is expected to miss out on the most significant rain, and total precipitation amounts may not be enough to fix longer-term precipitation deficits. The forecast also warned the next chance for rain for some of the dry areas may not be until near or beyond mid-month.
Source: DePutter Publishing Ltd.
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