Rainfall comes at a good time for producers

A farmer just outside of Regina says he had some moisture in the ground but not enough to say it was adequate.

Levi Wood with Westwood Agri Services, southwest of Regina, described the weather conditions he’s had so far during the Provincial Crop Report announcement Thursday morning. 

“We’ve been kind of drought-adjacent the last couple of years but we’ve definitely not been anywhere near the severe area. When we started seeding out here, we had good moisture but we certainly didn’t have a lot of moisture, even in the subsoil,” Wood said. “What this does is – it speaks exactly to what (Provincial Agriculture Minister David Marit) talked about – in that really it does improve the potential of this year’s crop. I think in general for us, we have better potential at this point in the year than we certainly did last year or the year before.”

He said this week’s rain helped out.

“We were right on the edge of maybe getting too much and having water laying around which does have an impact on seeding efficiency — some of those areas you have to go back and do later — but in general, it’s very positive.”

Levi, who farms around 20-thousand acres, says they’re crop rotation typically includes canola, durum wheat, and red lentils with a few other crops, such as flax, canary seed, and peas, mixed in. 

Meanwhile in the Cupar area, north of the Qu’Appelle Valley, Woody Blaser says he started seeding Thursday after waiting for rain.

Blaser, who was the latest winner of the 620 CKRM Country Cookout, says canola and wheat will be planted this year, adding his son is planting the same crops and adding lentils into the rotation. He will be seeding about 2,700 acres this year. 

Blaser described last year as “pretty good”, saying a rain shower came just in time to get a decent crop but admitted if they had received the rain two weeks earlier, the crops would be have been “very good.”

The Crop Report indicated rain was widespread throughout the province, improving topsoil moisture conditions.
Topsoil moisture for cropland was recorded at 8 percent surplus, 79 percent adequate, 12 percent short and one percent very short. Hayland is rated at 4 percent surplus, 74 percent adequate, 18 percent short and 4 percent very short. 

Moisture conditions for pasture land are reported at 3 percent surplus, 70 percent adequate, 22 percent short and 5 percent very short.

Over the past week, Moose Jaw recorded the most rain at 103 millimetres, followed by the Stalwart area at 65 mm, the Rose Valley and Hague areas each got 55 mm, and the Hafford area received 33 mm.

Spring run-off from mid-April was reported at 74 percent below average, 22 percent average and 4 percent above average. 58 percent of crop reporters noted the amount of runoff received would be enough to fill dugouts and other water bodies within their area. Over half of producers currently estimate there will be no shortages of on-farm surface water supplies for livestock, but some figure that shortages may occur in one to two months depending on future moisture conditions.  

The majority of livestock producers are not concerned with water quality for their livestock.

Seeding is at 12 percent complete in the province.

More from 620 CKRM