Soil conditions worsen across Saskatchewan as spring seeding continues

As spring seeding continues across Saskatchewan, dry conditions across the province continue to be a growing concern.

Southern regions of the province are either facing extreme or severe drought conditions as of April 30, according to the latest report from the Canadian Drought Monitor.

Eastern Saskatchewan, some regions east of Saskatoon and regions from North Battleford to Lloydminister are also classified as having severe drought conditions.

Read more: Severe drought conditions persist in parts of Saskatchewan heading into seeding

Very little precipitation in the province in the last week has worsened topsoil moisture conditions, Saskatchewan Agriculture said in its crop report released Thursday.

Cropland topsoil moisture is rated at 45 per cent short, 23 per cent very short and 31 per cent adequate.

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Hay and pasture land topsoil moisture are rated at 45 per cent short, 32 per cent very short and 22 per cent adequate.

Drought conditions in Saskatchewan as of April 30, 2021. Canadian Drought Monitor

The dry conditions are affecting seeding that has been completed, with crops slow to emerge due to little soil moisture and cool temperatures.

There was precipitation reported in the southwest corner of the province, however. The Admiral area recorded the most rain and snow precipitation at 25 mm followed by the Shaunavon and Rockglen areas, both reporting 20 mm of precipitation.

Sask Ag said this will hopefully improve germination conditions for the region.

Overall, 38 per cent of the 2021 crop is seeded, well ahead of the five-year average of 22 per cent for this time of year.

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The southwest region is furthest along, with 56 per cent of the crop in the ground. The southeast is at 44 per seeded, west-central at 35 per cent, the northwest at 34 per cent, east-central at 24 per cent and the northeast region at 22 per cent.

Read more: Budget 2021 promises to return some proceeds of carbon price to farmers

Another concern with the dry conditions is the risk of fires on cropland and pastures, with several rural municipalities issuing fire bans.

Sask Ag is reminding producers to be extremely careful when moving equipment and machinery that have the potential to spark or get very hot.

Click to play video: 'Farmer in Saskatchewan captures video of dust devil as he drives towards it on tractor' Farmer in Saskatchewan captures video of dust devil as he drives towards it on tractor

Farmer in Saskatchewan captures video of dust devil as he drives towards it on tractor

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