Scattered showers around the province this week helped to replenish soil moisture levels as many producers complete their seeding operations. Currently, Saskatchewan producers are 89 per cent seeded, which is just behind the five-year average (2018-2022) of 92 per cent.
The northwest has 97 per cent of this year’s crop in the ground, the west central is 94 per cent seeded, and the southwest is 90 per cent seeded. Excess moisture in the eastern regions have slowed progress, but advancements have been made there this week as well. The area with the least amount of seeding complete is the southeast at 80 per cent.
Provincially, seeding is almost complete for pea (95 per cent), lentil (94 per cent), chickpea (94 per cent) and mustard (94 per cent) crops. Oat (78 per cent) and flax (80 per cent) are the crops with the least amount of seed in the ground for the province.
Producers around the province received rain this week, varying between 69 mm (Arborfield region) and 67 mm (Borden region) to 2 mm (Eyebrow region) with the entire province receiving trace amounts of rain at some point. Cumulative precipitation has varied from area to area, with the Earl Grey region having recorded 205 mm of rain so far this year.
The recent rain has restored topsoil moisture levels across the province and even brought some areas of the province into excess levels. Provincially, five per cent of cropland has surplus soil moisture, 76 per cent is adequate, 17 per cent is short and two per cent is very short. Sixteen per cent of the northeast of the province has a surplus of soil moisture, while six per cent of the southwest is very short.
Pasture and hay land topsoil moisture levels also increased this past week – three per cent of pasture and hay land have excess topsoil moisture, 69 per cent have adequate, 24 per cent are short, and 4 per cent are very short. Similar to cropland, 14 per cent of the northeast has a surplus of topsoil moisture and 10 per cent of the northwest is very short.
Crops around the province are in excellent to good condition. Spring wheat is currently rated as being in the best condition, with 27 per cent of the province’s crop being excellent and 60 per cent being good. This is followed by barley (23 per cent excellent, 65 per cent good) and pea (23 per cent excellent, 64 per cent good). Mustard and chickpea are currently at seven per cent of the crop being excellent provincially. Generally, there is little crop damage in the province, although there have been reports of flea beetle and grasshoppers found in emerging crops. There has also been some minor flooding this week, light frosts and some dry conditions contributing to crop damage.
Many producers are breathing a sigh of relief as they wrap up seeding after very timely rains, and overall are still busy with end of seeding activities, working and moving cattle out to pasture, and scouting their fields for seedling issues.
For many producers, this is still a stressful time of year and producers are encouraged to take all safety precautions in all the work they do. The Farm Stress Line can help by providing support for producers toll free at 1-800-667-4442.
A complete, printable version of the Crop Report is available online at www.saskatchewan.ca/crop-report
Follow the 2023 Crop Report on Twitter at @SKAgriculture.
(Government of Saskatchewan news release)