Saskatchewan Agriculture's final crop report for the 2018 season, which covers the week ending Nov. 5, includes the province's topsoil moisture ratings that continue to show some areas of the province going into the winter months lacking topsoil moisture. At the same time, the province's cropland is rated far better than indicated this time last year (blue bars on the attached graphic relative to the brown bars).
While not shown, the area rated short to very short topsoil moisture dipped close to 2018 lows in the week ending Oct. 15 at 26% of the province's cropland area, an area that grew slightly to 31% of the cropland as of the last report released this week. While this area is almost identical to where it was reported in the very first report as of April 30 at 30%, it is well below the 78% of the province that was reported as of Sept. 3, after conditions led to deterioration in nine of 12 consecutive weeks.
Conditions have largely stabilized over the past five reports, with the area rated poor to very poor ranging from 26% to 33% of the province since the Oct. 1 report, while the area rated as surplus has grown from 3% to 5% over this same period. A look at the map shows the wettest areas, or areas rated as surplus, are found in areas of the Northeast Region or in the Nipawin/Tisdale areas, as well as in the Southeast corner close to Estevan. While the dry areas of the province are shown in pockets ranging across the province, the driest areas, or areas rated very short topsoil moisture, are found to the south of Regina, as well as the Wynyard area.
Relative to the five-year average for this time of year, the area of the province where topsoil moisture is rated adequate is equal to the five-year average at 64% (blue bar versus grey bar) and the area rated very short is also equal to its five-year average at 7%. An estimated 24% of the province is rated short topsoil moisture going into winter months as compared to the five-year average of 14%, but well below the 37% reported in late 2017.
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