Saskatchewan producers have delayed seeding across the province due to cooler temperatures and spring snowstorms.
According to the latest crop report, one per cent of the 2022 crop is now in the ground which is behind the five-year average (2017-2021) of five per cent. When weather conditions warm up, producers will be working hard to get started on seeding.
“Very little precipitation was reported in the past week, which will allow fields to dry up enough for seeding to begin in regions where it was previously too wet,” according to the report. “The most rain was reported in the Marengo area with 10 mm followed by the Marquis, Rockglen and Webb areas reporting five mm of rain. Although beneficial for pastures and hay land, farmers are hoping the rain will hold off until seeding can be completed.”
The crop report shows that cropland topsoil moisture is rated as five per cent surplus, 55 per cent adequate, 26 per cent short and 14 per cent very short. In addition, hay and pastureland are rated as two per cent surplus, 52 per cent adequate, 29 per cent short and 17 per cent very short.
Saskatchewan has seen a slight improvement for spring runoffs rating as five per cent above normal. The spring runoffs allows dugouts, sloughs and other small water bodies to fill which is very important for livestock producers.
“This replenishment of water in dugouts is extremely important for livestock producers who have struggled with finding good quality water for their animals,” stated in the report. “Going into the warm summer months, timely rains will be needed to keep water quality and quantity at acceptable levels.”
The crop report also indicates that livestock producers have also struggled to ration their available feed supplies through the winter rating as 35 per cent adequate and 65 per cent inadequate, while feed grain supplies are rated as 55 per cent adequate and 45 per cent inadequate.
Producers will need a good hay crop this year to replenish their feed supplies and ensure they have more than enough to feed their livestock next winter. Due to last year’s drought, pasture conditions lacked adequate regrowth before winter arrived.
“Pasture lands are rated as zero per cent excellent, 12 per cent good, 22 per cent fair, 37 per cent poor and 29 per cent very poor,” report stated. “Warm days with minimal wind are needed along with good rains to improve conditions and allow enough forage growth to support cattle throughout the summer.”
Saskatchewan producers are assessing winterkill damages on winter wheat, fall rye and other seeded crops to determine whether to reseed. The report states that areas in the southwest region of the province were the hardest-hit areas as there was not enough snow cover to protect the crop.