Spring seeding underway in southern Alberta

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Spring seeding underway in southern Alberta
Watch: The snow is finally melting across the prairies and that means farmers are gearing up for a busy seeding season. As Quinn Campbell reports, the late start to spring as slowed things down, but most farmers say the moisture was worth the delay. – Apr 25, 2023

The wheels are turning on Sean Stanford’s air-seeder just North of Magrath Alta. Its been a slow start due to some early spring snow.

“Things are just getting started, its been a little later than usual spring for us, last year we started on April 10 I believe, so we are a little behind schedule,” added Stanford.

The moisture levels in the soil are significantly better this seeding season compared to last, which Stanford said should help the crops get established.

There is a couple feet of moisture I would say down in the soil, where last year we were just inches, so its a big difference from one year to the next,” added Stanford.

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Just to the East, Joseph McKee is putting the final touches on his air-seeder as he waits for the fields in his area to dry up.

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He isn’t too concerned yet about a later start, but said if it gets too late, issues can arise in the fall, “We have to hope that we don’t get an early frost or early snow in that first week or two if September because we will still be in the thick of things at that point .”

One hurdle many producers faced last spring was rising fertilizer costs, but that’s not as big of a concern this year.

“There was a lot of panic buying last fall and over the winter, just for supply reasons mainly people were worried they wouldn’t’ be able to get the product but the product seems to be available and the prices have come down so its actually not a bad spot to be in right now,” added Stanford.

As those expenses start to drop, McKee said so have grain prices.

“We’ve enjoyed really strong commodity prices in the last few years that have taken the sting off the higher input prices, but commodities tend to fall before inputs do, and inputs tend to fall slower than commodity prices do.”

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With a few months before these crops will end up in the bin, it will all come down to mother nature and just how much moisture farmers get this season.

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