While nearly 75 per cent of the 2021 crop is in the ground, Saskatchewan Agriculture says precipitation is needed to improve soil moisture conditions.
The weekly crop report released Thursday said 74 per cent of the crop is seeded, well ahead of the five-year average of 48 per cent for this time of year.
Minimal rain and fair weather across the province allowed producers to seed without any prolonged delays, Sask Ag said.
However, the agency said soil moisture conditions deteriorated in the last week due to limited precipitation along with warm and windy conditions.
Cropland topsoil moisture is rated 48 per cent short, 32 per cent very short and only 20 per cent adequate.
Hay and pasture land topsoil moisture are rated 36 per cent short, 50 per cent very short and 13 per cent adequate.
John Pomeroy, Canada Research Chair in water resources and climate change, says roughly 93 per cent of the prairie provinces is abnormally dry or experiencing extreme drought.
“It would take many, many days of rain to soak into the soils now to replenish it,” Pomeroy told Global News.
“There are no parts of the province except maybe Cypress Hills that have normal soil moisture conditions and normal precipitation.”
Some parts of the province did receive precipitation in the last seven days, with the Tisdale region receiving 25 centimetres due to a thunderstorm.
Sask Ag said some farmers have stopped seeding canola as they wait for precipitation, while others have instead opted to seed wheat or other cereals.
To date, 93 per cent of field peas, 93 per cent of lentils, 83 per cent of durum, 83 per cent of chickpeas, 80 per cent of spring wheat, 78 per cent of canola and 75 per cent of barley have been seeded.
The crop report said crop germination has been poor and patchy in regions that have received little precipitation.
— with files from Anna McMillan