Seeding halted by cool, wet weather

Nathan Liewicki
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Crop producers behind their average seeding schedules

Heavy moisture and cooler than average temperatures are being blamed for Saskatchewan’s slow start to the crop-seeding season.

Fields covered by water, like this one about 15 km north of Moose Jaw, is one of the reasons the spring seeding schedule on Saskatchewan farms are being pushed back.

“I think it’s been below average (temperatures) since December,” quipped Brent Flaten, an integrated pest management specialist with the ministry of agriculture.

In all seriousness, however, Flaten said precipitation amounts – snow and rain – and temperatures that have struggled to reach their average marks have contributed to the majority of the province’s crop producers being behind on their seeding.

“The combination of both wet and cold weather has kept the soil temperature really cold, and in a lot of areas the fields are too wet to get on,” said Flaten.

Much of the southern part of Saskatchewan has only seen one to two per cent of crops seeded. Across other parts of the province that number is also well below 10 per cent.

As Flaten put it, “Things are just barely rolling.”

The majority of producers are expected to begin seeding in the next week or two – weather permitting.

Obviously, the weather forecast needs to improve so producers do not continue to fall behind early in the agriculture season, said Flaten.

“They need a good stretch of warm dry weather,” he said. “If we could even see average temperatures we will be happy.”

In the mean time, however, farmers are busy moving cattle and preparing machinery.

Nathan Liewicki can be reached at 306-691-1256 or follow him on Twitter @liewicks

Geographic location: Saskatchewan

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