- Farmers in southeast Saskatchewan have been getting into the field, working on seeding the 2018 crop. Producers have gotten 15 percent of this year’s crop in the ground. This is below the five year average of 26 percent, but many producers are just getting into the field after a late finish to winter.
One issue many have been keeping in mind so far this year is the dry conditions found across southern Saskatchewan, in particular, the southeast. Excluding the rainfall seen Tuesday night, there has been sparse precipitation in the region. Vibank did receive five millimetres, however, it was by and far the most of any area in this corner of the province.
“While we will likely have enough moisture to get the seed into the ground, concerns do remain that if we don’t get the moisture in the next couple of weeks, things may not germinate and establish as well as we would have hoped,” explained Shannon Friesen, a crops extension specialist with the Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture.
The topsoil moisture conditions for much of the region are predominantly short, or very short, thanks to the warm temperatures and strong winds. Hay land and pasture moisture conditions are suffering even more, as they are 55 percent short and 27 percent very short.
“We really haven’t had much rain over the last couple of weeks, and when it does rain it seems to kind of miss our area,” Friesen said, adding the conditions this week have deteriorated from last week.
Producers are also concerned about the issue with grass and stubble fires, which have been happening with frequent occurrence as of late. The fires can hinder attempts to get seeding finished.
The dry conditions aren’t just having an impact on grain farmers. Cattle producers are finding pastures slow to grow this year, resulting in some having to supplement their animals’ feed.