According to the May 17 to 23 provincial crop report, producers have reached the halfway point for planting this year's crop. While rain and snow were welcome in parts of the province, they also delayed seeding schedules for several farms. Seeding for the 2022 crop has now reached 52 percent, up from 33 percent last week.
Even though this year's average is below the 5-year average of 78 percent, the moisture that delayed seeding in much of the province was critical for proper crop development.
Eastern regions of the province experienced much more significant rainfall than other regions. Hudson Bay recorded 88 millimeters of rain. Those around Indian Head reported 32 mm of precipitation, while those around Biggar reported 11 mm.
The soil moisture has improved throughout the province, with topsoil moisture in crops rated at a 15 percent surplus, 58 percent adequate, 18 percent short, and 9 percent very short. The topsoil moisture of pasture and hay land is rated as 64 percent surplus, 63 percent adequate, 20 percent short, and 11 percent very short.
Another factor contributing to the slower seeding timeline this year is the ongoing shortage of vital parts for farm equipment. The province has also been experiencing a shortage of inputs and herbicides which has hindered the speed at which some have been able to hit the field.
The report states that the majority of crops that have started to develop are rated as having normal development, with the exception of canola, which was rated 67% behind normal. There are several contributing factors, including extremely dry conditions in the southwest and west-central regions, which have delayed growth and recent cool weather across the province.
According to this week's report, "The west central region is the farthest along with 81 per cent of the crop seeded. Seventy-six per cent of the crop is seeded in the northwest, 73 per cent seeded in the southwest, 44 per cent seeded in the southeast, 22 per cent seeded in the northeast and 21 per cent seeded in the east-central region of the province."
With more spring precipitation in the Southwest region than in the past few years, many producers are feeling more optimistic going into this production cycle.