Planting progress in Saskatchewan jumped from an estimated 9% of intended acres last week to an estimated 35% of the intended acres as of the week ending May 14. The 26% of the intended acres seeded this week is the most progress seen for this particular week in three years, while in 2015, 30% of the intended area was seeded over this particular week.
The largest gains were seen in the southeast over the week, with the Southeast Region estimated at 49% complete, up 34 points from the previous week. The Southwest Region estimate was 27 points higher while the four northern regions advanced from 21 to 25 points over the week in terms of the intended acres seeded.
It is interesting to see the east-west divide in terms of progress across the province, with planting progress in the Southeast 10% ahead of average, while the East Central Region is 6% ahead of average and the Northeast is 13% ahead of average. At the same time, the Southwest Region is estimated to be 5% behind average while the West Central and Northwest Regions are both 4% behind average.
The government notes growing dryness in the southern areas of the province, that will remain centered on the radar moving forward. The area of the province facing short to very short topsoil moisture ratings grew from 30% to 43% over the past week. This compares to a 4% short rating this time last year, with moisture reserves from the previous fall helping to get the crop off to a good start.
Between mid-May and the end of July in 2017, this topsoil moisture rating showed deterioration in nine of 11 weeks in 2017, reaching 70% short to very short as of the July 31 report.
Some showers are expected over southern areas of the province on Thursday according to the radar and National Weather Service precipitation maps, while the balance of the seven-day forecast looks relatively free of moisture with temperatures expected above normal.
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