'I don’t think we’re in a state of worry yet': Sask. farmers reporting slower than average start to seeding

Producers throughout Saskatchewan are facing delayed seeding due to cooler temperatures and an early spring snowstorm, according to the province’s first crop report of 2022.

According to the report released on Thursday, one per cent of the 2022 crop is currently in the ground.

“Well behind the five-year average (2017-2021) of five per cent,” the report read.

Farmer and agriculture consultant Kevin Hursh had his seeding pushed back to April 29.

“It was a bit of cool spring, and we did have some drizzly late flurry weather that did give us much moisture but delayed getting on the field,” said Hursh.

Hursh says he is about 40 per cent done seeding.

According to the report, “topsoil moisture for cropland, hay and pastureland is still less than ideal for proper seed germination and pasture growth.”

Crop extensions specialist with the Ministry of Agriculture, Matt Struthers, says the below-average seeding is mainly in the east-central, southeast and northern regions.

“I know a lot of farmers are anxious to get out there, but there still is plenty time to get seeds in the ground,” he said. “What we don’t want to see right now is more snow or cooler weather because that just means a longer delay.”

The Agricultural Producers Association of Saskatchewan (APAS) isn’t panicking over the delay either.

“I don’t think we’re in a state of worry yet,” said president Ian Boxall. “I’m here in the northeast, there is still some snowbanks and they’re calling for some rain, which actually will help get rid of the snow and warm up the soil.”

Boxall says farmers will take the delay over the drought conditions experienced last year.

“A lot of crop goes in this province in two weeks and I believe a majority of the province will get seeding in the next week,” he said. 

 Environment Canada meteorologist Terri Lang says the province is seeing more unstable patterns bringing in showers and thunder showers.

“Temperatures look to be seasonal over the next week or so, certainly not as warm as it was in the past few days,” she said. “April was well below season temperatures.”

In total, 191 producers reported to the April 26 to May 2 crop report.