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A cool and late spring has delayed field work across the province. However, seeding has started in the southern areas. In most other areas, harrowing and pre-seeding herbicide and fertilizer applications are taking place. Many producers will be seeding within the week.
Field conditions vary greatly across the province. The southern regions are dry and the northern and eastern regions are dealing with high field moisture. Topsoil moisture on crop land is rated six per cent surplus, 64 per cent adequate, 20 per cent short and 10 per cent very short. Topsoil moisture on hay land and pasture is rated as three per cent surplus, 63 per cent adequate, 28 per cent short and six per cent very short. High winds are drying up the soil quickly. The soil is slow to warm up and there is still snow and ice in some sloughs and ditches in the north.
Due to a low-yielding hay crop in 2017, an extended cold winter, and a slow start to spring, many livestock producers have turned to alternative feed sources and feed grains while they wait for the pastures to green up.
Spring runoff in the south was below normal in many areas, leaving some livestock producers looking at how to sustain water supplies throughout the upcoming grazing season.
Rainfall was recorded in the southern and eastern regions during the past week, ranging from trace amounts to 24 mm in the Big Beaver area.
Winter wheat survival is being monitored as it is too early to make an accurate assessment.
SaskPower reports four cases of farm machinery coming into contact with electrical equipment over the last week. The majority of farming-related incidents happen during seeding. SaskPower reminds producers to take an extra moment to check for overhead lines before beginning work. More safety information is available at www.saskpower.com/safety.