Southwest Saskatchewan is at the front of the pack when it comes to seeding.
A new Ministry of Agriculture report says the southwest, west-central and northeastern regions of the province are almost finished, with more than 97 per cent of their crop in the ground.
Province wide the ministry is reporting that crops are 95 per cent seeded. That’s down from last year at this time, when 98 per cent of the crop was in the ground, but above the five-year average of 90 per cent.
The southeast region has the smallest amount of crop in the ground, with 91 per cent completed.
The ministry says the majority of crops in southwest Saskatchewan are in fair to excellent condition, despite the fact that most crops are behind in their development. That’s not unique to the southwest, though, as many areas around the province are reporting colder than normal temperatures, which are delaying crop development.
Oilseeds have been affected the most, with 47 per cent of crop in the southwest currently behind development. For comparison, 42 per cent of spring cereals, 40 per cent of pulse crops and 31 per cent of fall cereals in the southwest are behind in their development. However, the report says crop development in the southwest area is still above the provincial average.
On the other hand, topsoil conditions have vastly improved thanks to the recent rainfall. Only 5 per cent of cropland topsoil in the southwest was rated short on moisture. That number jumps to 11 per cent for hay land, with 4 per cent considered very short on moisture.
The driest part of the southwest is south and slightly west of Maple Creek, where 13 per cent of all cropland and hay land is very short on moisture.
As for crop damage, the ministry says localized flooding, hail, wind and a touch of late frost have caused some problems. Farmers in the area are also spraying for flea beetles and cutworms, but were delayed but the rainy conditions.