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Slow start to seeding in SK


A flooded farm field near Asquith
A flooded farm field near Asquith

Alexandra Pope, staff writer

May 21, 2011 — Floodwaters have been steadily receding in Saskatchewan, but wet fields mean seeding is off to a slow start.

Wet fields mean seeding is off to a slow start
Wet fields mean seeding is off to a slow start

By May 19th, just 23 per cent of the 2011 crop had been seeded, compared to the five-year average of 44 per cent for this time of year.

A report issued by the provincial government says although significant progress was made in the past week, producers in some regions are just now starting to get into their fields.

In the flood-hit southeast, only eight per cent of the crop has been seeded, compared to 36 per cent in the southwest.

“Many crop reporters are indicating that fields are very wet, especially in the eastern regions of the province,” the report says. “Farmers are busy seeding, calving, hauling cattle to pasture and controlling weeds.”

Rain in the forecast for southeastern Saskatchewan
Rain in the forecast for southeastern Saskatchewan

Earlier this month, the Canadian Wheat Board cautioned that the above-average flood season would cause seeding delays. The board estimated that up to two million hectares could go unseeded this year.

2010 saw a record number of crop insurance claims in Saskatchewan, and the prospect of another bad season has many farmers hoping for dry, sunny days ahead.

The latest flood report issued by the Saskatchewan Watershed Authority says water levels are declining, but a heavy rainfall could tip the balance in some areas, including the Souris basin and the Qu'Appelle Lakes.

Southeastern Saskatchewan is set to receive a soaking this weekend, with up to 50 mm possible in the Estevan area by Sunday.

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