Farmers in southeastern Saskatchewan are in trouble. Only a limited amount of crop has been seeded, time is running out and rain continues to fall. The crop report that came out on May 26 estimated provincial seeding progress at 54 per cent as of May 23, up from just 23 in the report for the previous week. The five year average for May 23 is 72 per cent. At 54 per cent, progress is on par with the spring of 2010. But remember, last year saw millions of acres go unseeded in Saskatchewan. Whether the situation ends up as bad as last year remains to be seen. Certainly the geographic distribution of unseeded acres will be different this time. The problem is across the south and especially in the southeast. In the crop districts that include Estevan, Oxbow, Moosomin and Grenfell, seeding progress is estimated at only six to nine per cent. The crop district around Weyburn has only 19 per cent seeded. The next lowest is the crop district around Yorkton at 28 per cent, followed by Assiniboia in the south central region at 33 to 35 per cent. The southwest corner of the province is uncharacteristically wet and slow. Producers in the Maple Creek to Shaunavon area are often done seeding by the middle of May. This year, due to heavy snow over the winter and continual rains this spring, seeding is at only 37 per cent. Amazingly, there’s more seeding progress (39 per cent) in the crop district that includes Foam Lake and Wadena than there is in the southwest corner. The northern grain belt has had excellent seeding progress ranging from 62 per cent in the northeast corner around Hudson Bay and Tisdale to over 80 per cent west of North Battleford. Progress is actually well ahead of the five-year average across the north. Since the Ministry of Agriculture numbers are for the week ending May 23, progress is now well ahead of these numbers in many regions. Unfortunately, there has been limited progress in the regions that are furthest behind. For producers in the wet areas, it’s a time to nervously watch the weather forecasts and the calendar. The seeding window is closing quickly.
I’m Kevin Hursh.