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Seeding just about wrapped up in north west region

Producers in the north west region, including the Battlefords and Meadow Lake area, are close to wrapping up seeding for the 2022 crop season.

Rabbit Lake area farmer Charlie Smith said he has completed planting thanks to favourable weather conditions overall.

“We had a little bit of a late start, and we had a rain delay. But everything went [fine], and the seeding conditions were really good,” he said.

Smith mentioned around the Rabbit Lake area, most producers are about 90 per cent finished seeding.

He is growing wheat and canola, about 2,000 acres altogether, on his farm located northeast of the Battlefords. Next, he will wait for the crop to emerge to assess conditions.

“We’re okay at the moment,” Smith said. “I would never turn a rain away, but moisture conditions are fairly decent.”

He added that some areas are getting dry, but said, “We’re doing okay, right now.”

“These windy days aren’t helping much though; it’s drying the land out,” Smith added.

In the province’s latest crop report for the week ending May 30, producers in the west of Saskatchewan are said to be close to wrapping up seeding, while many in the east regions remain behind as a result of delays from rain and wet fields. Currently 76 per cent of the crop acres throughout the province have been seeded, up from 52 per cent the week prior, but behind the five-year average of 93 per cent.

Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture crops extension specialist Matthew Struthers said the northwest part of the province is making strong progress.

“They look very good,” he said. “Currently, 93 per cent of the crop has now been seeded in the region, up from 76 per cent [the week prior], and ahead of the five-year average of 85 per cent.”

Right now in the north west region, peas and lentil acres have been completed. About 99 per cent of the spring wheat is finished, 92 per cent of the flax, 91 per cent of the canola, 87 per cent of the barley, and 83 per cent of the oats.

“[They have] just a few of the last of the cereals there and a little bit more of canola and flax to go,” Struthers said.

The expert added the dry weather in the northwest and lack of rain over the past week enabled farmers to get quite a bit of seed planted.

“It’s very good to see,” he said. “Of course, now that some of that seed is in the ground, some moisture would be very appreciated throughout the region.”

Struthers added it comes down to a field-by-field basis to determine the degree of need. There is enough moisture in the ground to last a few weeks but not a month. So more rain is definitely in demand.

“With 93 per cent of the crop in the ground, there is not that much to go,” he said. “So, hopefully that can get buttoned-up quick, and then they can all receive some rain and start to have a pretty good year.”

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