Saskatchewan producers continued to make rapid seeding progress this past week, with some parts of the province already wrapping up or close to it.
Thursday’s weekly crop report estimated seeding across the province at 68% complete as of Monday, up 30 points from a week earlier. That is ahead of 52% done a year ago but lags behind the five-year average of 76%. Regardless, it’s a good sign that many producers in the western half of the province are finished for the year or are “only a few days away from finishing.”
Producers in the northwest region are almost done seeding with 84% of the crop in the ground as of Monday, followed by the west-central at 81%, the northeast at 76%, the southwest at 73%, the east-central at 58%, and the southeast at 51%. Producers in the southeast and east-central are still struggling with excess moisture hindering field operations, the report said.
In those areas that are complete or well advanced, producers would like to see some rain to ensure their crop has the moisture needed to emerge evenly and not be held back by dry conditions.
There were small to moderate rain showers across the province over the week with close to an inch falling in some areas. The Rosetown and Livelong areas received 21 mm, the Kenaston area 15 mm, the Hafford and Hazenmore areas 10 mm, while other parts of the province received anywhere from 1 to 8 mm. For the most part, the rain was not enough to relieve the dry conditions that some producers are facing. The biggest problem is in the west-central region where topsoil moisture conditions have deteriorated after weeks of minimal precipitation.
Provincewide, crop land topsoil moisture was rated 2% surplus, 63% adequate, 29% short and 6% very short as of Monday.
Early seeded crops have emerged and are looking good across the province. Producers are reporting that crop development is around 70% normal for spring cereals, oilseed and pulses. In parts of the west-central and northwest, some crops are behind in development due to dry growing conditions, while in the southeast and east-central crops are delayed due to the excessive moisture conditions.
Most of the crop damage this past week was due to minor flooding, light frosts, drought conditions and flea beetles. Some producers have reported short term delays in seeding due to an inability to access phosphate fertilizer. However, as supply increases, they have been able to proceed with seeding as planned, the report said.
Producers in the southeast have been busy in their fields and have now seeded 51 per cent of their crop, up from 18 per cent last week. This is still behind the five-year average of 73 per cent. Seeding operations have been steadily gaining momentum due to some warm, windy days finally drying out fields. Although there were light showers in parts of the region, they did not delay seeding progress.
Precipitation ranged from trace amounts up to 3 millimetres. Producers are reporting that they would like to see this trend continue at least another week to help wrap up seeding. Once seeding is finished, they would appreciate more rain to help crops emerge and establish quickly.
The topsoil moisture levels across the region continue to hold at levels sufficient to ensure proper germination and crop growth. Cropland topsoil moisture is rated as 8 per cent surplus, 88 per cent adequate and 4 per cent short. Many producers are reporting they have the perfect level of soil moisture for seeding and they are very optimistic about their crop this year.
Crop development is slightly delayed in the region due to the excessive moisture conditions and some cool weather in the beginning of May. Now that fields are drying up and the weather is forecasted to be warmer, the crop is expected to develop rather quickly. Although there was a light frost in the region this past week, early reports indicate there was no major damage to crops that have emerged. Producers will be working very hard over the next two weeks to complete their seeding operations and control rapidly growing weeds in their fields.
Producers took advantage of another rainless week to continue seeding at a very rapid pace. Seeding progress has reached 73 per cent in the southwest this week, up from 43 per cent last week. Seeding started later than usual in the region, leaving producers behind the regional five-year average of 82 per cent. Those who have received precipitation this spring appreciate it after two very dry years in a row.
Early seeded crops have emerged in the region and most producers are happy with how their fields look, a gentle rain would be appreciated soon to help the crop continue its growth cycle.
Very little rain fell in the region this past week. The most notable precipitation was received in the Hazenmore area with 10 mm. More rain will certainly be needed now that seeding is close to completion. Areas in the north half of the region appear to be worse off than the southern half and some producers claim their crop might not have enough moisture to emerge evenly. Topsoil moisture levels continue to dwindle. Cropland topsoil moisture is rated as 61 per cent adequate, 32 per cent short and 7 per cent very short.
Overall, crop development is rated as normal for this time of year despite an abnormally cool spring; however, without more rain, crops will soon begin to stunt their growth. Most of the crop damage this week was mainly caused by frost which early reports indicate was very minor. Gopher populations are reported to be very high and the first signs of grasshoppers in ditches have been reported. Producers will begin to control them where necessary.
Warm, dry weather this past week allowed many producers to seed without delay. Seeding progress has reached 58 per cent, up from 21 per cent and is on par with the five-year average, which is very reassuring for producers in the region. The early seeded crops that have emerged look very good, but producers also report that weed growth has been rapid, they will be busy performing infield herbicide applications to ensure weeds do not compete with their crops.
Very few parts of the region received rainfall over the past week and some producers in the drier part of the region are concerned about the lack of moisture. The Kenaston area received 15 mm of rain, the Allan area 13 mm and the Craik area 11 mm. This moisture will help emerging crops and pasture grasses for a brief time. Hot, windy weather has quickly dried out soil across the region. Cropland topsoil moisture is now rated as 65 per cent adequate, 30 per cent short and 5 per cent very short.
Overall, most of the crops are at the normal stages of development for this time of year due to the cool wet conditions in April and early May, which delayed seeding for several weeks. Most of the crop damage this week was from frost and flea beetles, which have been reported to be a large issue in some parts of the region. Some garden crops have been decimated by the pest since very little canola has emerged. Producers will be very vigilant of their canola and will spray the flea beetles if their population reaches economic thresholds.
Seeding is progressing rapidly in the region. Many producers have completed their operations and have started other field work. Seeding now sits at 81 per cent, up from 54 per cent last week and is ahead the five-year average of 78 per cent. Now that seeding is near complete in the region, producers are hoping for a long soaking rain. Some crops have emerged, while others, especially canola and other shallow seeded crops, have had poor emergence due to the dry conditions.
There were scattered rain showers in the region over the past week, but very few areas received sufficient moisture to alleviate the pressure of the dry conditions. The Rosetown area reported the highest amount of rain in the region with 21 mm. Some producers are in desperate need of moisture and may hold off seeding any more canola until a rain shower occurs. Topsoil moisture for the region continues to fall with the constant wind and warm weather drying out soil. Cropland topsoil moisture rated as 41 per cent adequate, 49 per cent short and 10 per cent very short.
Due to the overly dry conditions, crops are rated as normal to behind in their developmental stage for this time of year. Fall and spring cereals are rated the highest for normal development while crops like canola are suffering from the dry growing conditions. Most of the crop damage this week is due to strong wings, light frost and limited moisture. Producers are busy applying pest control products when the weather allows.
Seeding progress has been steady in the region since the beginning of May and many producers have finished seeding in record time. Seeding progress is at 76 per cent, up from 35 per cent last week and is well ahead of the five-year average of 63 per cent. Producers took advantage of abnormally dry conditions for this time of year. Now they would now like to see a good soaking rain in the region. Early seeded crops are beginning to emerge and for the time being, have enough moisture to establish themselves. However, if the weather continues to be hot, dry and windy the crop could quickly deteriorate.
There was not much rain across the region over the past week with the highest recorded being eight mm in the Prince Albert area. As a result of the rainless, windy week, topsoil conditions in the region declined. Cropland topsoil condition is rated as 71 per cent adequate, 26 per cent short and 3 per cent very short.
Most of the crops are normal in their developmental stage for this time of year due to adequate moisture early in the spring and warm daytime temperatures. There were reports of frost and producers will be out assessing damage over the next couple days.
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. 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.
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.