Producers keeping pace with five-year average

Justin Crann
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In spite of unseasonable early spring conditions, producers are right on track with the five-year seeding average.

Wet fields and colder temperatures have kept seeding in lockstep with the five-year average, but conditions could be better for producers.

Seven per cent of the year's crop is seeded, with the southwestern region of the province boasting a seeding rate of 20 per cent, according to a Saskatchewan Agriculture release. The five-year average for the province is nine per cent.

"We are right on par," said Shannon Friesen, a spokesperson for Sask. Agriculture. "The past few years, the trend has really been a slower start to seeding, and we're definitely on par with that."

Friesen said the slower start this year is for similar reasons to the past few years — lingering snow and moisture in the soil and cold nights.

"Our night temperatures are still dipping down to -3 C, and I know it was -7C the other night," she said. "The soil is taking longer than we'd like to warm up, and of course, some of the late snows and rainfall we have had has certainly hampered efforts."

However, Friesen said, Sask. Agriculture is optimistic about producers' ability to get the crop in the ground.

"Looking at the calendar, it is only May 15. There is still some time to get the crop in," she said. "Hopefully some sunshine will come in the next few days and we'll really start to get out there."

When the sunshine does show up, Friesen said, farm safety should be "a top priority" for producers.

"Even though the tendency at this time of year is to rush, farmers should still take some time to rest, drink lots of water, and really take care of themselves," she added.

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Organizations: Saskatchewan Agriculture

Geographic location: Sask.

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