Spring seeding progress jumped from 9% complete to 38% complete in Saskatchewan during the week ending May 10. Precipitation during the past week was limited to the southwest corner of the province, while that still didn't slow the Southwest Region from seeding an estimated 37% of the region's area during the week, more than any of the other five regions, to an estimated 56% of the acres planted in the region. This compares to the five-year average of 29% for the region.
Progress during the week ranged from 19% of the East-Central Region seeded to 24% of the area seeded in total, to the 37% of the southwest region planted. Of the six regions, estimates for the Northeast Region show the least progress of the six regions at 22% of the area seeded, which is still 2 percentage points higher than the provincial average based on estimates for this week in 2020.
Progress across the six regions of the province ranges from 15 points ahead of average in the Northeast Region to 27 points ahead of average in the Southwest Region.
Cool weather and continued dry conditions have slowed crop emergence. The government points to producers intentionally slow to seed canola in the Northwest Region due to cool weather, while are delaying seeding in the two central regions due to dry conditions. This bears watching; the current forecast shows warmer conditions. DTN charts show that both five-day highs and five-day lows are to range from 4 to 9 degrees Celsius above normal through to May 17.
The province's assessment of soil moisture shows a further deterioration during the past week. As of May 10, the area of the province rated as having adequate topsoil moisture fell by 10 points to 31% of the province, while the area rated short to very-short increased by 10% to 68% short to very-short, with 45% rated short and a further 23% rated very short. There is a slight discrepancy in this week's estimates as the total for the percentages is 99%, rather than 100%.
In historical Saskatchewan data going back to 2006 (15 years), the area rated short to very-short topsoil moisture for this week has been reported above 20% only four times. This area was estimated at 35% in 2008, while the high was reported at 47% in 2019. Three of these four years were seen in the past five years.
The current area rated as having adequate soil moisture for this week, at 31% of the province's cropland, compares to the five-year average of 69.5%, the 10-year average of 68.3% and the 15-year average of roughly 68.8%.
Cliff Jamieson can be reached at email@example.com
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