Saskatchewan sees rain as seeding nears completion: report

Winnipeg (CNS Canada) – The majority of Saskatchewan received much needed rain during the week ended June 4, which helped alleviate concerns over dry field conditions, according to the latest crop report from the Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture.

Precipitation levels varied across the province, with some southwestern areas receiving very little, while many fields in the southeast were reportedly saturated and flooded. Fields and roads were flooded in many areas of the southeast and it will be some time before they are dry enough to be accessed, according to the report. In contrast, the southwestern region remained very dry as it received little rainfall over the past few months. There are concerns that crop and hay yields in the region will be affected if rain does not arrive soon.

Topsoil moisture conditions improved in much of the province, thanks to the recent rainfall. Provincially, topsoil moisture conditions on cropland were rated as 12 per cent surplus, 67 per cent adequate, 18 per cent short and three per cent very short. Hay land and pasture topsoil moisture was rated as seven per cent surplus, 63 per cent adequate, 25 per cent short and five per cent very short.

Seeding operations neared completion, despite rain delays in some areas. Ninety-six per cent of the crop was seeded as of June 4, up from 91 per cent last week and well ahead of the five-year (2013-2017) average of 90 per cent for this time of year. Seeding was furthest advanced in the south, where 98 per cent of the crop was in the ground. The east-central region still had the most to go, at 93 per cent seeded.

Crop growth was delayed in much of the province and most crops were behind their normal developmental stages for this time of year. The majority of crop damage during the past week was due to localized flooding, lack of moisture, hail, strong winds and insects such as flea beetles and cutworms.

Farmers are busy finishing seeding and completing in-crop pesticide applications when they can, according to the report.

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