Saskatchewan Agriculture reports mostly favorable seeding conditions in the province that has allowed quick progress during the past week ending May 20. Spring seeding is estimated at 73% complete, up from 38% estimated in the previous week.
Given these estimates, 35% of the crop was seeded over the past week, exactly equal to the progress reported for the same week last crop year, while over the past five years, an average of 28% of the estimated cropland was seeded during this same week.
While last week's report showed progress representing 7 percentage points higher than the five-year average, this week's report shows the estimated area planted 14 points ahead of the average pace.
Of the larger crops, an estimated 63% of the canola, 80% of the spring wheat and 84% of the durum has been planted. Five of the six regions, all except for the Northeast Region of the province, have pointed to cool and dry conditions slowing crop emergence. Frost over the past week is expected to result in little damage given the slow emergence. A look back at the May 21, 2018 report, when seeding progress was at a similar pace, commentary indicated that crops were slowly emerging but mostly in good condition.
As shown in last week's Canada Markets Blog, the province continues to become drier, with only limited rainfall received over the past week. The cropland topsoil moisture rating continues to follow a similar path to last year, with the province's soil moisture rated at 44% adequate, 40% short and 16% very short. The short to very-short area has increased from 47% last week to 56% as of May 20, slightly higher than the 53% reported this time last year.
In 2018, this area (short to very-short topsoil moisture) fell from 53% as of May 23, to 18% as of June 11, as rains arrived to provide early relief. The dry trend returned, with this area increasing from 18% of the province as of June 11 to 69% as of Aug. 13. Unlike the 2018 Cropland Topsoil Moisture Conditions map reported by the government, this year's map seems to show the driest areas of the province less concentrated, while widely scattered over the lower three-quarter of the province.
National Weather Service precipitation maps point to the best chances for moisture over the next seven days in the southeast corner of the province, while most of the province will remain lacking. DTN's 5-Day Highs Compared to Normal shows daytime highs to range from zero to 3 degrees Celsius above normal in the western side of the province, while from zero to 3 degrees C below normal on the eastern side and along the southern border.
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