The snow and rain mix has put a crimp in farmers' plans to get out into the fields for seeding and spraying this week. Humboldt and area saw a significant shot of wet snow with a moisture laden cold front that passed through the provinces. While prospects look good for a bit more stable weather in the coming week, the eastern half of the province is once again in a holding pattern, says the Ag Ministry’s weekly crop report.
The good news, according to the report, is that the spring moisture is replenishing topsoil moisture for fields and pastures. Producers who have been able to get in the field are making good progress, with 33 percent of the 2022 crop now in the ground. As this is behind the five-year average (2017-2021) of 53 percent, producers are hoping for some warm days to allow field work to advance.
Sixty percent of the crop has been seeded in the southwest region, 53 percent in the west central, 35 percent in the northwest, and 17 percent in the southeast. Wet weather has allowed for only 13 percent completion in the Humboldt and east central regions while only eight percent has been sowed in the northeast.
Fifty-nine percent of lentils, 57 percent of field peas, 51 percent of durum, 29 percent of spring wheat and 27 percent of barley have been seeded to date. Barley, peas and lentils have begun sprouting throughout the southwest and west central regions.
Once again, the soggy southeast took the brunt of the moisture passing through. The Estevan area reported more than 120 mm over two days, the Weyburn area 92 mm, the Big Beaver area 87 mm, the Moosomin area 75 mm and the Eyebrow area 35 mm. Many parts of the southwest, west central and northwest did not receive significant amounts of rainfall and rain would be appreciated once seeding concludes.
However, soil moisture content continues to improve across the province after last year’s drought event.
Cropland topsoil moisture is rated as 12 percent surplus, 56 percent adequate, 20 percent short and 12 percent very short. Hay and pastureland topsoil moisture is rated as four percent surplus, 56 percent adequate, 24 percent short and 16 percent very short. Pasturelands that have received moisture all spring are beginning to see good recovery from the 2021 drought and their carrying capacity of cattle is increasing.
What’s needed now in the Humboldt area is a sustained stretch of dry and sunny weather to peel the excess moisture off the fields so seeding and spraying can resume.