Saskatchewan farmers and ranchers off to a better start in 2024

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The latest Saskatchewan crop report, dated May 30th, shows farmers have made significant seeding progress.

According to the report, 77 per of seeding is now complete, though this remains behind the five-year average of 91 per cent and the ten-year average of 89 percent. Despite these figures, crop emergence is reported to be in excellent to good condition, and topsoil moisture has shown considerable improvement over the past year.

The report highlights varying progress across different crops. Field peas and lentils lead with 92 per cent and 91 per cent seeding completion, respectively. Chickpeas and soybeans are at 78 per cent and 51 per cent. For cereal crops, spring wheat and barley are at 87 per cent and 84 per cent, respectively, with oats trailing at 67 per cent.

Prince Albert rancher and farmer Tim Oleksyn provided insight on Thursday’s Farmer Rapid Fire,  into the current conditions. “Honestly, it is to the point where people are considering adding a little fertilizer to really make things pop and get a response,” he said. “It’s an amazing start compared to so many other years that have been dismal. We’re seeing beautiful grass not just in the northern areas, but across the vast grasslands. It’s a remarkable change for many who had no hope for so long.”

In support of these observations, Jocelyn Wasko, a rancher from East End, Sask., tweeted a view of her rain-soaked fields, celebrating the green resurgence. “I don’t know if East End has been this green in years,” she noted, reflecting the widespread relief among local farmers.

However, the need for more heat remains critical. The relatively cool conditions so far have delayed the full benefits of the improved moisture levels. “We really need that heat now,” Oleksyn says. “With some warmth, not only will the crops launch forward, but the grass will also thrive. It feels like we’re off to a much better start in 2024 than we thought we would have if you go back six months ago.”

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