June 27, 2019 12:44 pm

Much-needed rain replenishes Sask. cropland, but more moisture needed

Saskatchewan Agriculture said that while topsoil moisture has improved greatly due to recent rainfall, the subsoil is still parched.

Brenden Purdy / Global News

While rain fell across many parts of the province over the last week, more is needed to help recharge soil moisture and help crops develop, Saskatchewan Agriculture said Thursday.

In its weekly crop report, officials said topsoil moisture greatly improved, but the subsoil remains parched.

Story continues below

READ MORE: Rain has positive impact on 2019 Canada’s Farm Progress Show

Topsoil moisture on cropland is now rated at four per cent surplus, 81 per cent adequate, 14 per cent short and one per cent very short due to the recent rain.

Hay land and pasture topsoil are currently rated at three per cent surplus, 73 per cent adequate, 22 per cent short and two per cent very short.

Southern regions reported receiving the most rainfall in the past week, with the Blumenhof area south of Swift Current receiving the greatest amount, 114 millimetres.

The Moose Jaw area received up to 111.5 millimetres, the Regina area 65 millimetres, the Gravelbourg area 105 millimetres and the Shaunavon area up to 98.3 millimetres.

READ MORE: Options for Saskatchewan producers dealing with dry conditions

Crop development continues to remain behind normal development for this time of year, but officials said the recent rainfall has improved or sustained crop conditions.

Provincially, 50 per cent of fall cereals, 55 per cent of spring cereals, 62 per cent of pulse crops and 43 per cent of oilseed crops are at normal development stages.

Saskatchewan Agriculture said the rainfall came too late for the majority of first-cut hay but will encourage growth for a later cut.

WATCH: ‘Miracle crop’ resurging in popularity across Saskatchewan farms

Some crops were damaged due to hail, the Canadian Crop Hail Association (CCHA) reported.

CCHA said 128 claims are being investigated due to storms between June 15 and 19.

Nearly half of those are in the communities of Assiniboia, Willow Bunch, Ogema, Gravelbourg, Maple Creek, Elrose, Rosetown and Pierceland.

“We are seeing isolated thunderstorm damage,” said CCHA’s Murray Bantle.

“The hail activity was light for the week. We finally got some moisture across much of the province.”

Six claims have also been filed in Gull Lake and Gravelbourg, CCHA said, with barley and durum suffering light to heavy damage.

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Report an error


Want to discuss? Please read our Commenting Policy first.