As of May 15, an estimated 30% of Saskatchewan's crop is planted, narrowing the gap with the five-year average pace, which is 33% for this week. Over the past two weeks, the pace has been running 5% behind the five-year average.
A closer look by region shows variability in the pace of spring seeding, with only one of the six crop regions in the province at a pace that is ahead of average. The Southeastern Region of the province is estimated to be 60% complete which compares to the five-year average of 33% for the region. At the same time, while the Northeastern Region is the furthest behind at 4% complete, the Northwestern Region is the furthest behind relative to the region's average pace with 8% seeded as compared to the five-year average of 32%.
The varying pace between the most advanced region and the slowest region, or 60% in the Southeast as compared to 4% in the Northeast, is the widest seen in Saskatchewan Ag data going back to 2005, although the spread was 51% in 2006, which is close to the current 56%. This points to the challenges in the northern areas, which also may be struggling to harvest 2016 crop.
As of May 15, 23% of the topsoil moisture across the province is rated as surplus. This is down from 26% on May 8 and 30% on May 1, with maps showing the largest concentration of saturated soils in the north east of the province in the Melfort/Tisdale/Nipawin areas. Other areas facing wet conditions are scattered across the province, including the Yorkton, Wynyard, Kindersley and Meadow Lake areas, to name a few.
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The National Weather Service precipitation maps show the province to be relatively free of moisture over the next five days, while day six and seven of the seven-day chart show a disturbance moving into the northwest of the province. Forecasts show temperatures mostly below the long-term average over the next two weeks.
Over the past five years (2012 through 2016), an average of roughly 30% of the province's crop has been seeded in the week following this mid-May report, which ranges from a low of 19% to a high of 42%.
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