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Warmer daytime temperatures make planting seeds easier for farmers

Seeding is underway in the province, with nine per cent of the 2021 crop now in the ground, which is ahead of the five-year average
agriculture
Saskatchewan farmers have now started seeding. Photo courtesy Ministry of Agriculture

While an abnormally cool spring has delayed field operations in many parts of Saskatchewan, producers have indicated that warmer daily temperatures have allowed for a big push to plant seed in the ground. 

Seeding is underway in the province, with nine per cent of the 2021 crop now in the ground, which is ahead of the five-year average of six per cent for this time of year, according to a Ministry of Agriculture news release for April 27 to May 3. 

The southwest region leads the province with 19 per cent of the crop seeded. The southeast region — in which Moose Jaw sits — is next at 11 per cent seeded, followed by the west-central at six per cent, east-central at five per cent, northwest at five per cent and northeast at two per cent.

Light precipitation was reported recently in many areas of the province, the news release said. The northeast region received the greatest rainfall, with 22 millimetres reported in the Porcupine Plain area. 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.

Topsoil moisture for cropland, hay and pasture is below normal levels in most areas of the province, with cropland topsoil moisture rated as one per cent surplus, 41 per cent adequate, 44 per cent short and 14 per cent very short. Hay and pasture land topsoil moisture is rated as zero per cent surplus, 27 per cent adequate, 48 per cent short and 25 per cent very short.

There have been reports of winterkill on winter wheat, fall rye and other fall-seeded crops, the news release said. Producers are busy assessing the damage and determining whether to reseed.

The warmer weather throughout parts of the province this past week has allowed many producers to get into their fields and start seeding, spraying, or applying fertilizer.

Anyone interested in following 2021 crop report updates can follow @SKAgriculture on Twitter.