Seeding in Saskatchewan is over two-thirds of the way done.
The third crop report of the season indicates 68 percent of seeding is complete, a 30 percent increase from the previous week, but behind the 5-year average of 76 percent.
The northwest region is almost done at 84 percent complete, followed by the west-central at 81 percent, the northeast at 76 percent, the southwest at 73 percent, the east-central at 58 percent, and the southeast at 51 percent.
Producers in the east-central and southeast regions are still struggling with excess moisture, according to the report, while other producers would like to see some rain to ensure crops “emerge evenly and not be held back by dry conditions.”
Following another warm, windy week in the province, topsoil moisture is rated as 2 percent surplus, 63 percent adequate, 29 percent short, and 6 percent very short. Hay and pasture land is rated as 59 percent adequate, 31 percent short, and 10 percent very short.
Some rain did fall around the province, “with close to an inch falling in some areas.” The Rosetown and Livelong areas got 21mm, the Kenaston area 15mm, the Hafford and Hazenmore areas 10mm, and other parts got between 1 and 8mm.
“It’s a decent amount of rain for any field out there…but certainly more would be welcome,” said Matthew Struthers, Crops Extension Specialist with the Ministry of Agriculture.
You can hear the full interview with Matthew Struthers below.
Struthers also says early seeded crops are emerging with producers reporting crop development is around 70 percent normal for spring cereals, oilseed and pulses. However crop development is behind in the west-central and northwest due to dry growing conditions, while crops in the southeast and east-central are delayed due to excessive moisture conditions.
He also noted minor crop damage was reported this week due to minor flooding, light frosts, drought conditions and flea beetles.
“Producers will be working very hard to keep those pests under control as their canola starts to pop up.” Struthers said.
The region-by-region breakdown is below:
For the Period May 16 to 22, 2023
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. Hay and pasture land topsoil moisture is rated as 90 per cent adequate and 10 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.
Pasture conditions have improved in the region due to plenty of available moisture and some recent warm weather. Pastures are rated as 15 per cent excellent, 76 per cent good, 7 per cent fair, 1 per cent poor and 1 per cent very poor. Cattle producers are confident their pastures will hold their livestock all season as long as they receive semi-regular rains over the summer months.
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. Hay and pasture land topsoil moisture is rated as 56 per cent adequate, 34 per cent short and 10 per cent very short. The driest area of the region is Crop District 4B where 73 per cent of both cropland and hay and pasture is reported to be short of moisture.
Pasture conditions are rated as 8 per cent excellent, 38 per cent good, 35 per cent fair, 15 per cent poor and 4 per cent very poor. It is reported that many community pastures in the region have improved from previous years and will be able to sustain cattle longer due to proper regrowth in the spring. Producers will be keeping a close eye on the grass and water levels of their pastures if it does not rain regularly in June and July.
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. Hay and pasture land topsoil moisture is rated as 56 per cent adequate, 35 per cent short and 9 per cent very short. Pasture conditions are rated as 3 per cent excellent, 38 per cent good, 38 per cent fair, 16 per cent poor and 5 per cent very poor. The majority of cattle are now on pasture with the remaining herds expected to be moved in the next week.
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, the Wilkie area 13 mm and the Cando area 10 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. Hay and pasture land topsoil moisture is rated as 26 per cent adequate, 52 per cent short and 22 per cent very short.
Dry soil conditions have slowed pasture and hay land growth. Producers have indicated that significant rains will be needed to improve pastures to a point where cattle can graze them all summer. Pasture conditions are rated as 20 per cent good, 35 per cent fair, 27 per cent poor and 18 per cent very poor.
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. Hay and pasture land is rated as 61 per cent adequate, 35 per cent short and 3 per cent very short.
Pastures in the region are rated to be three per cent excellent, 48 per cent good, 40 per cent fair, 8 per cent poor and only 1 per cent very poor. Livestock producers are happy to see their pastures bounce back and will be moving any remaining animals to pastures soon. As always, producers would like to see semi-regular summer showers on their pastures to ensure grass regrowth as cattle graze it.
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. Hay and pastureland topsoil moisture is rated as 44 per cent adequate, 33 per cent short and 23 per cent very short.
Pastures in the region are struggling through the dry conditions and grass growth has been slow. Pasture conditions are rated as 26 per cent good, 27 per cent fair, 32 per cent poor and 15 per cent very poor. A good soaking rain is needed to help pastures rapidly regrow and offset the pressure of grazing animals.
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.