Sporadic rain in the Moose Jaw area continues to dog farmers.
© Times-Herald photo by Nathan Liewicki
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 is still not complete.
“In this area we have gotten quite a lot of rain every couple of days,” said Shannon Friesen, a regional crop specialist for Saskatchewan Agriculture. “Every time farmers get going, the rain comes along and stops them for another day or two.”
The weekly crop report notes 78 per cent of crops in the province have been seeded, up slightly on the five-year provincial average (2009-2013) of 76 per cent.
The crop district that encompasses the Friendly City has only seeded 75 per cent of crops. However, this time last year only 66 per cent of crops had been seeded in the Moose Jaw area.
Friesen told the Times-Herald that in recent years all of the provincial crops are typically in the ground by mid-June.
“Even five to 10 years ago it would usually wrap up by the end of May, but the last couple of years it’s been quite wet with later springs,” said Friesen. “Typically around mid to late June is typically when seeding has wrapped up.
“Hopefully it’s completed in the next two weeks, but if we continue to get the rainfall that we have, certainly some of the seeding may extend into the latter parts of the month.”
A dose of warm, dry weather would obviously be of great benefit to producers so as to attain that goal.
“It’s amazing how many acres (producers) can seed when the weather turns nice,” said Friesen.
Despite the slow seeding process this spring, the majority of crops are in good condition. Those that have received damage have been the result of flooding, hail, wind and insects, such as flea beetles.
“Fortunately a lot of our crop isn't up and in full development yet, so a lot of the damage has been minimal so far,” said Friesen. “In terms of fleas beetles, that's an issue that we don't see every year, but because the crop is a bit delayed some producers in the province that are spraying for them.”
Nathan Liewicki can be reached at 306-691-1256 or follow him on Twitter @liewicks