With the arrival of drier weather in southern Saskatchewan, area producers have begun getting out into their fields doing field work or seeding, according to the latest crop report issued by Saskatchewan Agriculture.
In the southeast, it was estimated six per cent of the crop is now in the ground, and provincially the number is at seven per cent. In the southeast, the 3ase district, which includes Radville and Lake Alma areas, was up to 20 per cent done as of May 12, but the 2A district in the Weyburn region was only around five per cent done.
According to reporters providing information to Sask. Ag, it will still be a few days before most producers in the southeast will be out in the fields, due to cool, wet field conditions. Many producers have indicated the ground is slow to warm up, and grass and weed growth has so far been minimal. There are reports that flax straw is being burned in some areas to try and dry up fields.
Creelman-area farmer John Van Staveren said he and his brothers have been able to get a start on seeding, although machinery problems have been providing some challenges.
“We’re just nicely getting started. We usually try to get out earlier in May, but it’s been so cool and wet. It’s been getting better,” he said.
Asked how the moisture reserves are looking in the fields, he said they’re in very good shape. “There’s lots of moisture out there,” he said.
They seeded some winter wheat last fall which is just now starting to green up, and currently they are seeding spring wheat.
“Pretty soon we’re going to start seeding canola, durum, and some soybeans,” said Van Staveren, noting they have been building up their acres of soybeans each year, with around 3,000 acres to be seeded this year, a fifth of their overall acreage of close to 16,000 acres.
“The yields aren’t spectacular, but are good enough to keep going with it,” said Van Staveren.
In the Yellow Grass area, Shane Watson reported having a good start to seeding, reaching about a third done as of Friday, and was able to go until the rains came on Monday and Tuesday.
He was seeding mainly to durum, canola and lentils, and said he would be mainly seeding those three crops this season.
Asked how moisture reserves were looking, he said all the fields were in excellent shape with good moisture across most of them.
In crop district 2A, crop reporters said about 50 per cent of the crop land had surplus topsoil moisture.
Hay land and pasture topsoil moisture was rated at around 15 per cent surplus, and 84 per cent adequate.