SE Sask farmers get big boost of moisture as seeding nears end

With many farmers finished seeding, or nearing the finish line, the rain they so desperately needed arrived on Thursday, and fell on and off through the long weekend into Tuesday, with around 57 mm of rain recorded in the Weyburn area.

Up to Thursday, 79 per cent of the seeding was done in the southeast region overall, with the Weyburn crop district at 89 per cent done, and the Radville-Lake Alma area at 85 per cent complete.

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This is well ahead of the five-year average for this time of year, which is 56 per cent, and ahead of the provincial average of 74 per cent completion.

Within the southeast region, 98 per cent of the field peas are in the ground, along with 93 per cent of lentils, 92 per cent of durum, 88 per cent of the spring wheat, 84 per cent of the barley, 69 per cent of the oats, 60 per cent of canola and 52 per cent of soybeans.

Up until Thursday, there had been some scattered showers, but then the rain began on Thursday with the Weyburn area getting 21.1 mm of rain, and 4 mm on Friday, 1.1 mm on Saturday, another 21 mm on Sunday and 9.2 mm on Monday, with varying amounts since then.

Creelman area farmer Marcel Van Staveren said the rain was “stunningly perfect”, estimating their fields received from two to three inches, or 50 to 75 mm of rain altogether.

“We haven’t had a significant May moisture event in years,” he added.

Weyburn area farmer Dale Mainil said around three inches of rain has fallen since Thursday from Weyburn to the Griffin and Fillmore areas, with areas around Cedoux, Colfax and north getting four or five inches. There will likely be some acres lost due to too much rain in some of those areas, he added.

Mainil was touring his fields on Monday and commented, “I’m very happy. A little too much rain is way better than the dust and dryness we had before, so yeah, we are all good with this rain. We need sun for a few weeks then another inch.”

Farming south of Weyburn, producer Jeff Gaab said they received about 1.5 inches on Thursday, and another 1.4 inches on Sunday evening, and commented, “This is a very beneficial rainfall.”

Earlier seeded crops have started to emerge in the southeast, and weeds are also emerging, but windy conditions have made it difficult for farmers to do much spraying.

Besides seeding, producers are busy rolling lentil fields and picking rocks, while cattle producers are assessing their pastures to determine when they can put cattle out.