© Times-Herald photo by Lisa Goudy
Farmers were hard at work on Aug. 29, 2013 working toward the harvest just west of Moose Jaw.
Producers are looking for more sun to get ready for seeding.
“The ideal conditions are (having) all the snow is gone, the top couple inches of soil have warmed up preferably to even three or four degrees throughout the day, sun of course and not too wet,” said Shannon Friesen, regional crop specialist with the provincial agriculture department.
On average, the seeding season begins in early May.
“Some years we’re in the field earlier and some years maybe not until about mid-May,” said Friesen. “This year it’s looking like hopefully by May.”
The up-and-down weather lately has affected farmers getting ready to seed cereal crops, but there are no major concerns as it’s still early.
“There’s plenty of time for the sun to come out and the snow to melt,” said Friesen. “I know there’s a lot of guys starting to get their seeding plans finalized. They’re picking up fertilizer. They’re getting their equipment fixed. So everyone’s looking to go. We’ve just got to wait for the weather to co-operate now.”
Until conditions are suitable, producers can also finalizing plans for what crops will go where.
Some areas of Saskatchewan were pretty dry last fall. However, there is still time for rain to come in April. A slower snow melt and rain at the end of April would “help get things going” for the parts of the province that were dry in the fall, she said.
In the southern parts of the province, conditions are looking fairly good so far, but nothing is for sure yet.
“It’s a waiting game at this time of year,” said Friesen. “So just trying to get everything wrapped up and ready for springtime.”
According to Statistics Canada, Western Canada had a successful year for cereal crops in 2013. Compared to 2012, it reported an increase of 38 per cent in wheat production, a 27.8 per cent increase in barley and a 38.3 per cent increase in oats.
Barley and oat acres produced record yields in 2013 with barley at 71.7 bushels per acre and oats at 92.1 bushels per acre.
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