It has been a busy week of seeding for farmers across the southern part of Saskatchewan, but wet fields have limited progress in other locations.
Saskatchewan Agriculture says 11 per cent of the provincial crop has been seeded, which is below the five-year average of 16 per cent. The bulk of the numbers are in the southeast at 30 per cent, followed by the southwest at 18 per cent.
"Producers in the south have been able to get in the fields for the past couple of weeks," according to Shannon Friesen, a provincial cropping management specialist. "Things have been drier than central and northern areas."
Only 14 percent of cropland in the southeast has surplus topsoil moisture. Field conditions have been optimal for most producers, although strong winds are drying out topsoil moisture and delaying herbicide applications.
The west-central region has only three percent of seeding complete, compared to the five-year average of twelve percent. Many fields remain saturated and warm, dry weather is required.
There have been challenges in dealing with unharvested 2016 crops. Some rural municipalities in the west-central region have established fire bans to minimize the burning of residue. Topsoil moisture conditions improved slightly over the past week and are now rated as 22 per cent surplus and 78 per cent adequate.
The wettest area of the province is the northeast where many fields are saturated. Cropland topsoil moisture conditions have deteriorated over the past week and are now rated 65 per cent surplus and 35 per cent adequate. Warm, dry and windy days are needed before fields will be able to support equipment.
Friesen says seeding can be done in a condensed time frame as long as the weather cooperates.
"Once producers are able to get in the fields and not get stuck all of the time, seeding can happen very, very quickly. So hopefully we'll get warm weather over the next few weeks."