Farm­ers slowly re­turn­ing to fields

The Southwest Booster - - FRONT PAGE - 2017

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.

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