Seeding of 2021 crop underway in Saskatchewan

Nine per cent of the 2021 crop now in the ground, according to the Saskatchewan Agriculture crop report. File / Global News

Farmers are making progress seeding the 2021 crop after a cool spring delayed operations in many parts of Saskatchewan.

A recent run of warmer weather has allowed producers to make a big push, with nine per cent of the crop now in the ground, according to the Saskatchewan Agriculture crop report released Thursday.

That is slightly above the five-year average of six per cent for this time of year.

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Furthest along is the southwest region, with 19 per cent seeded, followed by the southeast region at 11 per cent. The west-central region is at six per cent seeded, the east-central and northwest regions at five per cent seeded and the northeast region at two per cent.

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Topsoil moisture remains below normal in many parts of the province.

As of March 31, the Canadian Drought Monitor reported most regions in southern Saskatchewan and parts of the east were in a severe drought. Most other growing regions were classified as being under a moderate drought or abnormally dry.

The crop report said cropland topsoil moisture is rated 44 per cent short and 14 per cent very short, with 41 per cent rated adequate and one per cent as surplus.

Moisture conditions are worse for hay and pasture land topsoil, with ratings at 48 per cent short, 25 per cent very short and 27 per cent adequate.

Read more: Severe drought conditions persist in parts of Saskatchewan heading into seeding

Light precipitation was reported in many areas of the province over the past week, according to the crop report. The northeast region received the greatest amount of rainfall, with 22 mm reported in the Porcupine Plain area.

The report said other areas, including the east-central region, received precipitation in the form of snow and rain toward the end of the week that will help with the dry field and pasture conditions.

Some producers reported winterkill on winter wheat, fall rye and other fall-seeded crops.

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Sask Ag farmers are assessing the damage and determining whether or not to reseed.

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