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Southeastern farmers glad to have crops planted after rainy seeding season

Moisture was very present in the southeast this spring, starting all the way back in April. 

During that stretch, a pair of heavy snowstorms more than made up for the previous drought that draped itself over many areas - though the southeast wasn't as heavily affected by that.

It translated into plenty of moisture reserves, which were soon after joined by plenty of rain falling.

All of that combined to make moist conditions that hampered farmers' ability to put seeds in the ground. There was usually one or two days when the ground was dry enough before it rained again and made the ground inoperable.

Agrologist Edgar Hammermeister says that the rains were especially troubling to those living further to the east.

"It was a struggle for a lot of folks. There is a gradient, west to east, the closer you get to the Manitoba border the more of a struggle it was. There are a few missing acres, but not a lot. It's just a big struggle to try and avoid the low spots, and minimize the amount of mudding in the crop over there. The guys had to do a lot of turning to avoid the low spots and getting stuck."

Some areas in the southeast had a bit more luck the further they moved to the west.

"As you transition into the west fields were in better conditions, but there were still moisture challenges. By and large, the seeding was finished earlier west of Estevan, and there's still maybe a little bit of struggle to finish against the Manitoba border, or as you cross into Manitoba," said Hammermeister, "Just that much more moisture over there."

The delay in seeding is likely to cost many farmers, who lost out on crucial yield potential by having to plant many crops later than they'd like.

Hammermeister says it can be a complex topic when it comes to which crops are most affected.

"The impact is more dependent on the type of crop. The cereals take it on the chin first, there can be a pretty significant yield production for every delay of seeding delay. The cereals, they just love seeing the long days and to gather in sunlight and create yield potential."

"The broadleafs are a bit less sensitive to that but are more vulnerable to heat in the summer. Everything likes to be seeded early," said Hammermeister, "but canola can be very productive if we can avoid high temperatures during flowering. The same would be for peas and flax."

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