Lack of moisture allows some Sask. farmers to begin seeding early

Apr 26, 2024

The mild weather in parts of Saskatchewan means some farmers have already started seeding.

Bev Pirio, a vice-president of the Agricultural Producers Association of Saskatchewan (APAS), owns a farm near Radville in southeastern Saskatchewan.

Pirio is one of a few Saskatchewan farmers who have started seeding; she started the process last week after she didn’t get the snow most parts of the province got.

She explained she’s doing it so she can make sure those seeds can soak up the little bit of moisture the ground has accumulated over the winter.

“One of the reasons we’re starting early is because there isn’t enough moisture there. I guess the plan is to get it in the ground while there’s still a little bit here,” Pirio said.

“The winds have been pretty bad drying up the topsoil. We’ll roll everything afterwards, so then it gets packed in there and we try to seal that moisture with the seed.”

It was around this time last week that Pirio said her farm started seeding, which is still a tad earlier than normal.

She said as you move east, the seeding conditions are a little bit better than what she has experienced, but mentioned the southwest part of the province is continuing to struggle.

“As you go west, it’s considerably worse. Everybody is very fearful of the growing season (in the southwest) if we don’t see some moisture soon,” Pirio said.

“A lot of that is maybe not all cropland, but a lot of it could be pastureland and that is just about worse because the grass doesn’t grow if there’s no moisture there and then they also won’t have hay to cut.”

Because of the drought in the southwest, Pirio mentioned she spoke with a farmer about creating pressure on the government and other interested parties to create a drought committee and see if they can get ahead of any drought problems that may arise this summer.

Now that it appears the snow is gone, Pirio said there’s only one thing farmers want going forward.

“It’s water,” she said. “Rain, rain, rain. Less wind would be nice because even if you get the rain, the wind could be drying it very quickly. But that’s Mother Nature.”

Pirio added as farmers start their growing season, she asked them to give their fellow farmers a hand if they need it physically or mentally.

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