Seeding progress well behind average

Planting is underway in Saskatchewan but seeding progress has been slow and wet field conditions have delayed field operations in many areas.

As of May 1, just one percent of the province’s 2017 crop had been seeded, according to Saskatchewan Agriculture’s first provincial crop report of 2017.

That’s down from 15 percent as of May 1, 2016.

The five-year average for provincial plantings as of May 1 is six percent.

In southeastern Saskatchewan, some seeding took place in late April but wet field conditions in many areas hampered field operations.

In the southwest region, normally the first to be planted in Saskatchewan, two percent of the crop had been seeded as of May 1, compared to the five year average of 15 percent.

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According to Saskatchewan Agriculture, producers in the southwest region are planting pulses, cereals and canola crops as field conditions permit, but cool, wet weather has limited progress.

Growers in east central and west central Saskatchewan are also off to a slow start this year, due to wet field conditions.

In some areas, seeding operations have also been delayed by last year’s unfinished harvest.

An estimated 1.3 million acres of 2016 crop remained in the field over winter. Efforts to clean up those fields have been slow, hampered again by wet field conditions and cool temperatures in late April.

Additional rain and snowfall during the last week of April has further complicated efforts to harvest what’s left of last year’s crop and get this year’s fields seeded.

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Farmers in Saskatchewan’s northeast and northwest growing areas also made little progress in April and are hoping for warm dry weather in early May.

According to Saskatchewan Agriculture, topsoil moisture conditions for cropland are rated as adequate to surplus in virtually all areas of the province this spring.

Saskatchewan Agriculture’s full provincial report along with provincial precipitation and moisture maps can be viewed at http://www.saskatchewan.ca/government/news-and-media/2017/may/04/crop-report.

Contact brian.cross@producer.com

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