Wednesday November 26, 2014

Rain helps farmers, but hinders others


With wet field conditions continuing this week, the southeast area is averaging about 58 per cent done seeding, with a wide variance amongs producers as far as how much progress has been made this past week.

This ranges, by RM, from 85 per cent done in the RMs of The Gap and Laurier in the western area, to as little as 33 per cent done in crop district 1A in the southeast corner of the province.
For Creelman-area producer Marcel Van Staveren, who farms with his two brothers, they are about 75 per cent done at this point before they were rained out on Sunday with just over an inch of rain. He added they have received about three inches of rain in the last seven days.

“We just finished seeding soybeans, which is what we wanted to have done by June 1st,” he said, adding they still would like to get canola seeded. Given the land conditions and time constraints, he’s okay with canola going in, and says he has up to June 15 to have that done.

He estimates with the rain received, they may have lost around five per cent due to excess moisture; on some of the wet land that they have left, even if it’s too late for a cash crop, he is considering seeding something like a tillage radish which can help develop porosity in the soil and can help with the excess moisture; plus it can be seeded along with a wheat or a legume to help restore some of the nitrogen content of the soil.

For Dale Paslawski, who farms north of Weyburn, he’s about 90 per cent done, but notes east of Weyburn there are some farmers who are only 25 or 30 per cent done because of all the rain this spring.

“I’m quite pleased with my progress; we don’t like seeding in June if we can help it,” he said, adding he will likely seed flax in the 180 acres that he has left.

His earliest seeded crops from around May 9 have started emerging and are looking very nice so far; if the area still gets more rain, it may start yellowing some, but otherwise the crops are looking “spectacular” so far.

Paslawski noted some neighbours have had the problem of crusting due to heavy rain, which is hard for crops like canola to break through.

“We’re always fighting with the environment; that’s just the way it is,” said Paslawski, adding hay and pastures are doing well.


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