May 23, 2019 12:32 pm

Rain needed in Saskatchewan as seeding nearly three-quarters complete

WATCH: Dry conditions continue throughout Saskatchewan,

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Farmers have made great progress with seeding in the past week, Saskatchewan Agriculture reported Thursday, but rain is needed for emerging crops.

The crop report said 73 per cent of the 2019 crop is now seeded, up from 38 per cent on May 16 and ahead of the five-year average of 59 per cent.

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Seeding is almost complete in the southwest region at 84 per cent, officials said, with 71 per cent seeded in the southeast.

In other regions, 68 per cent of the crop is seeded in east-central, 75 per cent in west-central, 62 per cent in the northeast and 68 per cent in the northwest.

Eighty per cent of spring wheat, 84 per cent of durum, 93 per cent of lentils, 94 per cent of peas, 63 per cent of canola, 66 per cent of barley and 55 per cent of flax are now seeded, the crop report said.

Soil conditions remain a concern, with rain needed in most of the province to replenish topsoil as warm temperatures and strong winds continue to dry out fields, officials said.

Cropland topsoil moisture is currently rated at 44 per cent adequate, 40 per cent short and 16 per cent very short.

Crops are reported to be slowly emerging and are mostly in good condition despite the lack of moisture, according to the crop report.

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Hayland and pasture topsoil is rated at 36 per cent adequate, 41 per cent short and 23 per cent very short.

Officials said hay and pasture growth has been slow due to the lack of precipitation.

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