Late start hasn’t hindered farmers in the southwest

Although a late, cold spring delayed this year’s seeding, crops in southwest Saskatchewan are still looking good so far this summer.

According to Grant McLean at the Agriculture Knowledge Centre in Saskatchewan, producers in the area have managed to play a pretty good game of catch-up.
“Particularly in the southwest, we didn’t get crops planted as soon as we normally would, but I think, relative to how advanced crops are now in the southwest, the majority of the crops are at the normal stage of development for this time of year,” he said, noting 88 per cent of fall rye and 76 per cent of spring cereals are coming up normally this summer.
“Considering the late start and the moisture conditions we’ve had so far this summer, producers are doing a great job at keeping everything moving along.”
In southern parts of the province, continued rain has been a bit of an issue. Precipitation has been spotty in most areas, but McLean noted it has been a moist year, with some areas receiving more than 300ml of rain since April 1.
“More traditionally, in the southwest after the early part of July, moisture is often the most limiting factor in crop production, because it does get so hot and dry,” he explained. “This year, however, we’ve been seeing a bit more precipitation in some areas, and of course, humidity has also been higher, which is both beneficial and comes with some challenges associated with that. Many crops, particularly cereals, are seeing higher disease pressure, but in areas that are receiving good, timely rains, the crops are looking very good.”
Due to the increased risk of disease, more local producers have been using fungicides to combat the potential for disease. Since crops are looking to be of high quality, McLean noted it’s easier for producers to decide to make the investment and try to protect the value of the crop.
“When you think you have a good crop, and since prices this year are more buoyant than they have been in years past, producers are less reticent to spend the extra money on fungicides to limit disease,” said McLean. “Another concern is the incredibly tight timelines due to the late spring, producers are having to closely monitor their crops to see if insecticides are needed, as well.”
As far as crop condition in the southwest, McLean noted reports indicate that 90 per cent of this year’s spring wheat is in good to excellent condition, as well as 88 per cent of durum. None of the crops rated ‘very poor’, and very small amounts were rated as ‘poor’.
“Generally, the crops in the region are looking good,” McLean explained. “Producers are looking forward to continued timely rains with minimal hail, and a good harvest season to bring the crop in.”
(For more agriculture-related news, please see our B Section).

via SW Sask News – Prairie Post – Prairie Post

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