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Thursday, 23 June 2011 12:55

Too wet for seeding in southwest Sask.

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By John R. Statton — This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Farmers in Saskatchewan’s southwest are still feeling frustration with seeding.

“Those guys are still getting significant rainfall, and it has certainly handicapped their abilities to get into the fields because they’re very wet,” said Grant McLean, of Saskatchewan Agriculture.

“Our reporters are indicating that south of the Cypress Hills — and even in Shaunavon — the field conditions are wet there, and they’ve had rainfall with very little opportunity to get in there.”

According to Saskatchewan Agriculture, excessive rainfall has hit much of the region. Cadillac received 69 millimetres, Shaunavon had 18 mm, and 15 mm for Eastend during the week of June 7-13.

“Seeding progress is really quite variable: Anywhere from only 36 per cent of the intended acres to 100 per cent complete,” said McLean.

“Moisture conditions vary widely field to field: There’s lots of large sloughs and saturated field conditions with producers changing their seeding plans, and in some cases producers are deciding to quit for the year, even in the southwest.”

He indicated a significant number of fields would go unseeded this spring.

Eighty-two per cent of the 2011 crop has been seeded in the province, according to Saskatchewan Agriculture’s Weekly Crop Report.

That number is down 10 per cent from the five -year average (2006-2010), but is up 10 per cent from last year’s figure for the period.

The southwest is directly on par with the provincial average, but remained the second lowest in Saskatchewan.

Seeding was reported as 99 per cent in the west central and northwest, 98 per cent in the northeast, 86 per cent in the east central, and 44 per cent in the southeast.

Cropland topsoil moisture was rated at 29 per cent surplus, 57 per cent adequate, 12 per cent short, and four per cent very short.

Oil seeds, pulse crops, and spring cereals were behind normal development with figures of 65 per cent, 66 per cent, and 66 per cent, respectively.

“The (weather) forecast is looking at more moisture, which is not really what people are looking for,” said McLean.

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