Ag Weather Forum

Prairie Planting Weather Generally Favorable

Doug Webster
By  Doug Webster , DTN Senior Ag Meteorologist

Farmers have been able to make good strides in seeding progress during the middle of May. Weather has been good for the most part, with few rainy days that have stalled or slowed seeding activity. A little bit of a bump in the road is due during the next few days, as low pressure slides slowly eastward through the southern Prairies and brings periods of rain and showers.

The rains are not totally unwelcome for western areas where May has gotten off to a dry start, but for Manitoba plentiful rains on top of the wet soils from the recent snow melt is still keeping farmers out of some fields. Soil moisture conditions are generally in good shape across Alberta and Saskatchewan as late May arrives favoring crop emergence during the next few weeks.

The weather pattern that has evolved during the recent couple of weeks has brought much higher temperatures and less rainfall to the Canadian Prairies and allowed the high flood potential of April, due to unusually deep snow, to melt away with much less fanfare than most were expecting. Favorable planting weather developed more quickly than it first appeared during May with planting progress not as far behind as first feared.

The future weather conditions, as advertised by our most reliable computer models, continue the pattern of generally good weather for the finish of seeding and the emergence of crops. Some rain and showers through this weekend do not look particularly heavy and as stated above may be favorable for some western areas. Another period of dry weather is due for next week, along with weather that should run a little milder than normal.

Of a little concern will be the rather different weather pattern across the Northern Plains of the U.S. during the coming week. A rather wet pattern is expected for areas of the Northern Plains and western Midwest as a persistent front through the region helps gather moisture and develop showers. Some of this moisture could affect far southern areas of Manitoba at times. As we move to early June, an upswing in showers is also expected for Alberta.

Crops need a mix of sunshine, mild to warm weather, and periodic rainfall to achieve the best potential of growth. As it appears for now, the prospects for such a mix of conditions during the next couple of weeks looks good.

Doug Webster can be reached at

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