Travellers throughout Saskatchewan need only glance out their windows to confirm that spring seeding is getting into full swing. March and April snowfalls contributed much needed moisture, and now conditions are prime for a timely start to this crop year.  

“Saskatchewan farmers are back in the field doing what they do best and in many ways better than anyone in the world,” Saskatchewan Agriculture Minister David Marit said. “Our producers have generated record agri-food exports for each of the past four years, growing crops with some of world’s smallest carbon footprints compared to other competitive jurisdictions. While seeding is underway, I encourage everyone to stay safe and especially to be aware of farm equipment on the province’s roads during this very busy time of year.” 

Early May rains put a brief hold on the process and may do so for the end of the week, but clouds are expected to part by the weekend and head toward drier conditions.  

It’s early days for crops extension specialist Ashley Kaminski when it comes to seasonal reporting, but at their own farming operation just north of Manitou Beach, seeding is a go.  

“This spring, we’re super grateful for the rains that we have received,” Kaminsky says. “If we have to stop seeding because it’s raining, we’re not going to complain about it.” 

Like many areas in east central Saskatchewan, the snowpack allowed for a spring runoff that filled most dugouts and replenished surface and subsoil moisture ahead of the seeding season in the Watrous area.  

What’s needed following this week's rain is a return of clear skies and temperatures that foster the ground warming for germination.  

“While we’ve had some nice temperatures in the 20s, long range forecast is for the teens, so that’s good, but I’ll be happy to see it back in the 20s again. Those folks who are seeding canola in the coming days, they’re going to want to see that with the moisture on the top for the canola to pop out quickly.” 

It’s a similar story a little further north at the farm of Neil Gossner of St. Gertrude in between Muenster and LeRoy.  

“We’re making progress this week,” Gossner reports. “There’s good moisture in the ground. We’ve been having to navigate around some small sloughs, but overall moisture conditions are adequate to almost ideal. We could handle another half-inch to an inch. We don’t want to turn away rain.” 

As for soil temperature, Gossner says that it depends a bit on what he’s seeding into. Some stubble fields retained the snow pack a bit longer, so temperatures take a bit more to rebound.  

According to the latest Ag Ministry crop report, provincially Topsoil moisture for cropland is rated at eight per cent surplus, 79 per cent adequate, 12 per cent short and one per cent very short. Hayland is rated at four per cent surplus, 74 per cent adequate, 18 per cent short and four per cent very short. Pasture topsoil moisture conditions are reported at three per cent surplus, 70 per cent adequate, 22 per cent short and five per cent very short.