Some farms thrive as others fail amid floods

The rampant flooding in Saskatchewan's southeast means a tale of two farms has emerged across the province.

The rampant flooding in Saskatchewan's southeast means a tale of two farms has emerged across the province.

Farmers in the north and west-central areas have their entire crop seeded, and most of it is growing well, according to the provincial Agriculture Department's latest crop report.

But in the flood-beset southeast, only a minority of farms have their seed in the ground, and many of those crops, particularly pulse and oilseeds, are faring poorly.

Province-wide, 82 per cent of this year's crop was in the ground as of Monday, the report says. That's below the five-year average for this time of year, which is 93 per cent. The report shows no change from last week, indicating that virtually no fields were seeded during the week and progress may has stalled.

The worst-hit areas are in the southeast, where only 44 per cent of the crop has been seeded overall — and in some zones, as little as five per cent.

"Further seeding progress is unlikely, however some green feed crops may be able to be seeded in some areas," the crop report states.

Due to torrential rains and the huge spring floods, the region has many areas with houses and fields under water.

"Access to fields is a major issue as roads are washed out, flooded or very soft," the report says. "Farm yards, corrals, pasture and hay land are flooded, partially flooded and very soft. Many cattle producers are having a difficult time processing and vaccinating cattle in the wet weather."

The crops that have been sown in the southeast aren't doing well. More than 70 per cent of the region's canola, mustard, pea and lentil crops are rated fair, poor or very poor.

West and north doing well

It's a different story in Saskatchewan's northeastern, northwestern and west-central regions. All three have upward of 98 per cent of their crop seeded. While some areas got nearly 170 millimetres of rain in the last week, it was mostly a welcome respite for dry topsoil.

More than 85 per cent of the wheat crops in the west-central region are in good or excellent condition, and the numbers for oats, barley, canola, peas and lentils aren't far behind. In the northeast and northwest, some crops have suffered damage from hail and flooding, the government's report says, but on the whole, almost all crops are in good or excellent condition.