Saskatchewan saw significant seeding progress during the week of May 5 to 11, but also ran into some bumps along the road, according to the province’s crop report. Of note, producers throughout various regions of Saskatchewan, including Lloydminster, encountered damage to alfalfa crops.
Daphne Cruise, cropping management specialist for the province, attributed the issues to the drop in temperatures throughout the week, and says it’s unclear as to how the crop will be affected long term. “It sounds like with the alfalfa, it’s kind of a wait-and-see game,” she said. “You won’t know the extent of the damage until we get into the haying season and they start seeing some yields.”
In addition to lower temperatures, Cruise says that dryness has also emerged as a potential issue to keep an eye on, though it’s not yet serious enough to create major concerns.
“Farms are indicating they would like some moisture, so it’s kind of a wait-and-see game to see how the crop comes out of the ground with some dry moisture conditions.”
Cruise says that at this point of the planting season, producers have moved their seeding efforts on to the next set of crops, which include cereals and canola, and to a lesser extent, flax.
Despite the aforementioned concerns, seeding in northwest Saskatchewan is far beyond the pace it has set in recent years and is in a very favourable position for producers.
“At 31 per cent for the northwest, it’s well-above average for the five years. The next closest would have been in 2010; there was 11 per cent done at this point,” Cruise said. “About one-third done for the northwest is typically where we like to see it at this point.”
The northwest region had reported seven per cent of the crop in the ground at the end of the previous week.
Meanwhile, topsoil moisture on cropland remained quite strong in northwestern Saskatchewan, with producers rating conditions as 93 per cent adequate. Hay land and pasture moisture was rated as 90 per cent adequate.