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Seeding of 2020 crop nears completion in Saskatchewan

Windy, dry conditions hit Saskatchewan
WATCH: Windy conditions this spring have been drawing the ire of many in the province — especially Saskatchewan’s farmers.

Dry conditions have allowed farmers in Saskatchewan to nearly complete seeding the 2020 crop.

Saskatchewan Agriculture (Sask Ag) said moisture is now needed to help germinate later-seeded crops and support crop development.

Sask Ag reported Thursday in the crop report that 96 per cent of the crop is in the ground. That compares to the five-year average of 92 per cent.

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Agriculture officials said rainfall two weeks ago helped pasture conditions in the western regions, but little precipitation was reported throughout the province between May 26 and June 1.

Strong winds and the lack of precipitation have dried out fields, especially in the central and southern regions, Sask Ag said.

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According to the latest figures from the Canadian Drought Monitor, most of eastern Saskatchewan, from the U.S. border to the Melfort area, along with the North Battleford region, is classified as abnormally dry.

Moderate drought conditions were reported in the areas around Weyburn, Moose Jaw, Yorkton and Humboldt in the April 30 report.

Saskatchewan government studying Lake Diefenbaker canal expansion
Saskatchewan government studying Lake Diefenbaker canal expansion

According to Sask Ag, cropland topsoil moisture is currently rated at one per cent surplus, 65 per cent adequate, 30 per cent short and four per cent very short.

Hay and pasture land topsoil moisture are currently rated at 58 per cent adequate, 32 per cent short and 10 per cent very short.

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Officials said that crops are in overall good condition, with the majority of smaller seed crops like canola and mustard rated as fair to good.

They added that the emergence of early-seeded crops is generally good and uniform.

Most of the crop damage during the reporting period was due to strong winds, dry soil conditions, flea beetles and light frosts in some areas of the eastern regions, the crop report said.