Wintry blast over weekend welcome for topsoil moisture: Sask. crop report
Topsoil conditions for cropland, hayland and pastures is listed as 60% adequate
Soil conditions were looking bleak before a blast of snow and rain over the weekend, which has improved the outlook across the province, according to the latest Saskatchewan crop report.
"Going into winter, we were on the drier side and definitely there were some concerns for this growing season with that much of a moisture deficit," said Cory Jacob, crops extension specialist with the provincial Ministry of Agriculture.
"These have been alleviated a little bit now that we'll be able to get the crop up and germinated."
There's still a great need for timely rains through the growing season, said Jacob, but the crop report now judges topsoil conditions for cropland, pasture and hay land to be about 60 per cent adequate, about 30 per cent short on moisture, and seven to nine per cent very short.
The southwest benefited from the snow and rain conditions, with the equivalent of 73 mm of rain reported in the Shaunavon area, for instance. The northeast and the northwest parts of the province are seeing more adequate moisture conditions now as well, said Jacob.
However, he noted that central and west central areas are still fairly dry.
"They still could use a shot of moisture."
Pasture quality is also suffering from dry weather, with conditions listed as one per cent excellent, 25 per cent good, 40 per cent fair, 25 per cent poor, and nine per cent very poor, according to the report.
Saskatchewan farmers have been able to seed an estimated five per cent of the 2019 crop, compared to the five-year average of three per cent, with seeding beginning or continuing in the coming weeks.