Saskatchewan Planting Fastest Since at Least 2016

May 21, 2021

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Almost three quarters of the 2021 Saskatchewan crop has now been planted at a time when less than half would normally be in the ground.

The latest weekly crop report pegged seeding across the province at 74% complete as of Monday, way from 38% a week earlier and ahead of the five-year average of 48%. In fact, this year’s seeding pace is the fastest since at least 2016, just barley topping 2019 when 73% of the crop was in at this time.

Seeding in the southwest remains the most advanced at 82% complete as of Monday, followed by the southeast at 79% done, the west-central and northwest at 77% and the east-central and northeast regions at 63%.

An estimated 93% of the field peas, 93% of the lentils, 83% of the durum and 83% of the chickpeas were seeded in the province as of Monday. Additionally, 80% of the spring wheat, 78% of the canola and 75% of the barley was in.

But while limited precipitation has allowed seeding to progress quickly, the dryness and warm windy conditions throughout the province have further reduced topsoil moisture conditions. Cropland topsoil moisture was rated as 0% surplus, 20% adequate, 48% short and 32% very short as of Monday, compared to 0% surplus, 31% adequate, 45% short and 23% very short a week earlier. The worst soil moisture conditions are in the southeast, rated 95% short to very short.

There was scattered rainfall throughout most regions in the province this past week, with the Tisdale area receiving the highest amount at 25 mm thanks to a thunderstorm. The Christopher Lake area received 13 mm and the Pelly area received 10 mm. “The rain is welcomed but more is needed to address the current extremely dry conditions throughout the province,” the report said.

Some farmers have halted seeding canola while they wait for rain in the forecast, the report said, while others have opted to seed wheat or other cereals instead. Very little spraying is happening in the province due to low weed emergence and strong winds making for poor spraying conditions. For many parts of the province where precipitation has been very low, crop germination has been poor and patchy, it added.

Southeast:

Earlier seeded crops have started to emerge in the region. Weeds are also emerging, but windy conditions this past week have prevented many producers from being able to apply herbicides. Minimal rainfall has allowed for seeding to progress but farmland will need moisture soon to support crop and pasture growth.

There were scattered light showers in some areas of the region this week. The Weyburn area received the highest amount of rain with around four mm. The Carnduff and Tantallon areas received three mm, the Radville and Frobisher areas two mm. These small amounts of rain fall will not be enough to change current moisture conditions.

Cropland topsoil moisture is rated as zero per cent surplus, five per cent adequate, 65 per cent short and 30 per cent very short.

Southwest:

Eighty-two per cent of the crop is seeded in the southwest, which is ahead the five-year average (2016-2020) of 57 per cent for this time of year. For the region eighty-seven per cent of the chickpeas, 83 per cent of the field peas, 82 per cent of the durum, 81 per cent of the canola, 80 per cent of the barley, 76 per cent of the spring wheat and mustard and 68 per cent of the flax has been seeded to date.

Windy conditions have resulted in drying of the soil and have prevented many producers from being able to spray herbicides.

There was minimal precipitation in the southwest region this week, ranging from none to five mm in some areas around Consul and Gull Lake.

Much of the crop has been seeded and some are starting to emerge due to rainfall over the past couple of weeks. More rain would be welcome in the region to support crop development and help green up the pastures. Cropland topsoil moisture is rated as zero per cent surplus, 26 per cent adequate, 47 per cent short and 27 per cent very short. Hay land and pasture topsoil moisture is rated as 20 per cent adequate, 36 per cent short and 44 per cent very short.

East-Central:

There was very little precipitation in the region and producers were able to make great seeding progress. Seeding is up from 22 per cent last week to 63 per cent of the crop seeded to date. This is well ahead the five-year average (2016-2020) for this time of year of 27 per cent.

Ninety-four per cent of the field peas, 86 per cent of the chickpeas, 77 per cent of the durum, 71 per cent of the spring wheat, 63 per cent of the barley and 51 per cent of the oats are seeded to date.

Most of the region received very little to no rainfall this week. The Pelly area received the highest amount of rain with only 10 mm.

Hay land and pastures have been very slow to green up this week with the warmer temperatures. Rain would be welcome across the region, especially to help support pasture and hay growth. Cropland topsoil moisture is rated as zero per cent surplus, 14 per cent adequate, 48 per cent short and 38 per cent very sho

West-Central:

Producers made great progress seeding this week. Currently, 77 per cent of seeding is done in the region which is ahead of the five-year average (2016-2020) of 37 per cent for this time of year.

Ninety-eight per cent of the field peas, 96 per cent of the lentils, 88 per cent of the canary seed, 81 per cent of the soybeans, 79 per cent of the durum, 77 per cent of the spring wheat, 75 per cent of the barley and 70 per cent of the canola has been seeded to date.

Windy conditions have continued to dry out the soil in the region and many fields require rainfall to support germination and crop development. No rainfall was reported in the region for the week.

Very hot temperatures and limited moisture have slowed hay land and pasture plant growth. With limited precipitation and strong winds topsoil moisture conditions have been worsening. Cropland topsoil moisture is rated as 14 per cent adequate, 33 per cent short and 53 per cent very short.

Northeast:

Fair weather has allowed producers to make great progress with seeding with 63 per cent of the 2021 crop in the ground, which is above the five-year average (2016-2020) for this time of year of 22 per cent.

Ninety-eight per cent of the field peas, 96 per cent of the spring wheat, 80 per cent of the canary seed, 77 per cent of the barley, 77 per cent of the oats, 62 per cent of the flax and 50 per cent of the canola has been seeded to date.

With the wildfire in the Prince Albert area and windy conditions, some crop reporters have noted large amounts of smoke in their areas. Windy conditions have also prevented some producers from spraying. There was a thunderstorm in the Tisdale area that resulted in 25 mm of rain in a localized area.

Cropland topsoil moisture is rated as zero per cent surplus, 60 per cent adequate, 30 per cent short and ten per cent very short.

Northwest:

Producers in the northwest have made further progress with 77 per cent currently seeded. This is ahead of the five-year average (2016-2020) of 31 percent for this time of year. Within the region 95 per cent of the field peas, 85 per cent of the lentils, 84 per cent of the spring wheat, 75 per cent of the durum, 73 per cent of the barley and 73 per cent of the canola are seeded to date.

The region received very little precipitation in the form of scattered showers during the week. The North Battleford and Turtleford areas received the highest amount of precipitation in the region with around two mm. The Mayfair and Frenchmen Butte areas received one mm.

Warm temperatures and little rain over the past week have allowed the soil moisture conditions to deteriorate. Cropland topsoil moisture is rated as zero per cent surplus, six per cent adequate and 70 per cent short and 24 per cent very short

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