Seeding all but done in Sask., rain needed now

Seeding is nearing completion in the province with 97 per cent of the crop in the ground, well ahead of the five-year (2010-2014) average of 73 per cent for this time of year, according to Saskatchewan Agriculture’s weekly crop report.

The west-central region is furthest advanced, with 99 per cent of the crop seeded, followed by the southwest at 98 per cent. The southeastern, northeastern and northwestern regions have 97 per cent seeded, while the east-central region has 94 per cent.

Heavy frost late last week damaged some crops. Producers are assessing the damage, with some re-seeding having occurred. Conditions vary across the province, but most crops are in fair to good condition.

Concerns about crop germination and emergence continue in areas that have not received much rain since April. Flea beetles and cutworms are damaging some canola crops across the province.

Because emergence and germination has been so slow, these flea beetles have had an optimal opportunity to get in there and do more damage than they normally would (at this time of year),’’ Friesen said. “In terms of frost (damage), it seems to be mostly the earlier seeded (crops). We’ve had two or three frost (days) in the last few weeks, but the one last week did most of the damage.’’

While crop damage has been “spotty,’’ Friesen said some producers have been reseeding canola fields into more drought-resistant crops, like wheat and other cereals, or just “writing it off.’’

Some areas received rain this past week, ranging from small amounts to over an inch (2.54 cm) in parts of the southwest and northwest. “The southeast, for example, got three-quarters of an inch to over an inch (of rain) this past week. Certainly, they’re in a better position than the rest of the province. In some of the fields, there was even flooding.’’

Rain is needed in much of the province to help recharge the topsoil. “For the most part, the entire west side of the province is extra dry; around Moose Jaw and Regina, we’re getting drier every day,’’ Friesen said. “The entire province at the moment could use some rain.’’

Cropland topsoil moisture conditions are rated as three per cent surplus, 51 per cent adequate, 37 per cent short and nine per cent very short. Hay land and pasture topsoil moisture is rated as three per cent surplus, 41 per cent adequate, 40 per cent short and 16 per cent very short.

This week, Environment Canada’s senior climatologist said Regina and area had its driest May since 1981 and its driest spring — March, April and May — since 1917.

Precipitation has been “a quarter of what you normally receive,” said David Phillips, adding Regina had rain on only eight of the last 100 days.

Phillips said the problem is a high-pressure area that’s brought dry, clear air to B.C., Alberta and the Yukon. It’s so big that rain-bearing systems moving east over the Pacific are diverted toward the southern U.S. — hence the epic floods in Texas.

“It’s really as if nature’s forgotten how to rain out in your area,” he said. “It’s not a pleasant situation.”

© Copyright (c) The Regina Leader-Post

More From Our Blog

Week 6; Key Differences Week Five; Here's What Happened A Closer Look; Week Four The Inside Scoop on Week Three Week Two; An Inside View
See More Stories