Saskatchewan's first crop report shows producers getting an early start to seeding, with 3% of the crop reported as seeded as of April 25, which compares to 2% of the crop seeded as of April 27, 2015. The early start is seen in the south, with 8% reported as seeded in the southwest and 4% in the southeast, with little activity to the north. The five-year average planting progress for this time is less than 1%, while the longer-term 20-year average is 2%.
Saskatchewan Agriculture views the topsoil moisture situation as being "generally good" overall, which should lead to a good start to the crop in most areas. As seen on the attached chart, this first report shows the area of the problem facing surplus moisture conditions at just 6%, while the five-year average (2011 to 2015) for this rating in the first report is 33%. The wettest areas of the province are seen close to Prince Albert, as well as in the northeast region, or to the southeast of Melfort and Tisdale. It's interesting to note that the surplus area of the province reported in the first report, either late April or early May, has decreased for three consecutive years.
The green bars on the chart represent the area of the province which is rated as having adequate topsoil moisture. At 83%, this is higher than seen in the first report over the past five years, while the five-year average is roughly 65% in early spring.
The area of the province identified as dry, either short (10%) or very short (1%), has increased in the first report for three consecutive years, with 2016 ratings in brackets. Areas rated as short are seen in areas surrounding Weyburn, to the south of Regina and in a band from Swift Current to the northwest ending along the Saskatchewan/Alberta border to the south of Lloydminster. The driest area of the province is confined to a small area along the border, appearing to be west of Kerrobert/Luseland in west-central Saskatchewan.
A significant area of the west-central and southwest regions received from 10 to 40 millimeters of precipitation over the past week, with a great deal of that moisture coming in the way of snow.
DTN 5-Day Highs Compared to Normal forecast show the Prairies will see above-normal temperatures into next week, ranging from 0 to 3 degrees Celsius above normal at the U.S. border to as high as 7 to 9 degrees C above normal in more northern growing areas across the three prairie provinces.
DTN's 5-Day Lows Compared to Normal show southwest Saskatchewan and southeast Alberta to see temperatures from 0 to 3 degrees C below normal, while temperatures are expected to be increasingly above normal as you move north on the Prairies.
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