Farmers slowly returning to fields
Spring field work has been slowed by a cool and damp April, and producers across the Southwest have only completed two per cent of seeding work instead of the five year average of 15 per cent.
With just pockets of seeding underway across the Southwest, the warm and dry weather expected this weekend will make a huge difference for farmers.
According to the first Saskatchewan Agriculture Crop Report of 2017, covering the period of April 25 to May 1, two per cent of the crop in the Southwest has been seeded and province wide just one per cent of the crop is in the ground.
Adverse weather has delayed spring field work, with harrowing and applying herbicide slowed.
The Crop Report notes that the Gull Lake area has reported receiving 50 millimetres of precipitation during the month of April. During the week of April 25 to May 1, Leader received 15 millimetres of rain, while Gull lake area reported 13 mm, and Admiral and Vanguard had 12 mm.
It was reported that the majority of winter cereals came through the winter in good shape, but there are some reports of winterkill damage. Although the Southwest was able to get the bulk of the crop off last fall, some fields remain unharvested.
Province wide, one per cent of the crop has been seeded, compared to the five year average of six per cent. Southeast producers are setting the pace with three per cent of the crop seeded.
Producers in the west-central and northeastern regions of Saskatchewan are still waiting for improved conditions in order to complete harvest operations of crops that remained in the fields over the winter months. An estimated one million acres of the 2016 crop is yet to be harvested, and a mild spring has not improved field conditions enough to harvest those fields.
The Crop Report highlights much of the province received large amounts of precipitation during April, and fields remain wet in many areas.
Provincially, cropland topsoil moisture is rated as 30 per cent surplus, 69 per cent adequate and one per cent short. Hay land and pasture topsoil moisture is rated as 16 per cent surplus, 81 per cent adequate and three per cent short.