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Saskatchewan Seeding Passes Halfway Mark; Still Behind Normal

Saskatchewan producers dodged showers to make some progress in the fields this past week, although planting is still behind the five-year average pace. 

Thursday’s weekly crop report estimated planting in the province at 56% complete as of Monday, up from 32% a week earlier but behind the five- and 10-year averages of 76% and 74%, respectively. 

Producers in the southwest, northwest and southeast are most complete at 64%, 63%, and 61%, respectively. The east-central region is 54% complete, followed by the northeast and west-central regions at 48% and 47%. 

Rainfall occurred in much of the province at varying amounts over the past week. The highest reported rainfall was in the Mossbank area at 58 mm, followed by the Meadow Lake and Choiceland areas at 52 mm and 51 mm. “Although the rain has helped replenish topsoil moisture levels and improve growing conditions, many producers are hopeful for a pause in rainfall to allow seeding progress to continue,” the report said. 

Topsoil moisture conditions continue to improve across much of the province with the recent rainfall. Cropland topsoil moisture was rated at 6% surplus, 89% adequate and 5% short as of Monday, versus 4% surplus, 86% adequate, 9% short and 1% very short a week earlier. 

Early seeded crops are beginning to emerge throughout the province with good emergence reported overall. Crop development is in the normally expected range for this time of year but seeding delays due to rainfall and cooler temperatures have slowed development in some regions of the province. 

As crop emergence continues, producers are diligent in monitoring for any damage to their crops. Most of the crop damage this week was due to frost, minor flooding, wind and hail. Although not widespread, some producers have reported crop damage due to cutworms, wireworms and flea beetles. 

Southeast: 

Producers in the southeast have made great progress over the last week despite some rain delays. Currently, 61 per cent of the crop is seeded in the region. This is up 25 per cent from last week’s reported progress. This falls behind the five-year average for the region of 71 per cent. 

Rain fell throughout most of the region over the past week. The highest rainfall recorded was in the Whitewood and Avonlea areas at 36 mm and 33 mm respectively. Despite the rainfall over the last couple weeks, producers reported that so far only one per cent of the region did not get seeded this spring due to excess moisture. 

Topsoil moisture conditions for cropland are estimated at five per cent surplus, 88 per cent adequate, six per cent short and one per cent very short.  

As seeding progresses throughout the region, earlier seeded crops are emerging. Producers estimate that fall and spring cereals are 80 per cent and 70 per cent of normal development for this time of year. Pulse crops and oilseeds are estimated to both be at 71 per cent normal development. Producers noted slight delays to crop development as compared to the expected development stage for this time of the year due to cooler temperatures. Oilseeds are the most delayed at 23 per cent behind the expected development stage for this time of year. 

Producers have reported some crop damage from minor flooding, frost and wind. A few areas within the region also noted some cutworm and wireworm activity. 

Southwest: 

Despite seeding delays due to rainfall, the southwest region was able to progress to 64 per cent seeding completion. This is up 19 per cent from last week’s reported progress, but still behind the five-year average of 85 per cent. 

Rain fell throughout the entire region this week. The Mossbank area reported the highest rainfall at 58 mm. At the time of reporting, producers indicated that no areas within region were unable to be seeded this spring due to excess moisture. 

With the continued rainfall over the past few weeks, topsoil moisture conditions have continued to improve. Cropland topsoil moisture is reported at five per cent surplus, 92 per cent adequate and three per cent short.  

With earlier seeded crops emerging, producers estimate that the majority of fall and spring cereals, 98 per cent and 74 per cent respectively, are at normal stages of development for this time of year. Oilseeds are reported at 76 per cent at normal stages of development with 24 per cent falling behind. For pulse crops, 70 per cent are at normal stages of development and 30 per cent are reported as falling behind the expected development stage for this time of the year. 

Producers within the region report some frost and wind damage along with the presence of flea beetles and wireworms this week. 

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