Another week of significant seeding progress was noted around Saskatchewan in the latest crop report (May 21-27) from the Ministry of Agriculture. As of May 27 the province as a whole was 77% complete, that number behind both the five-year average of 91 per cent, and the ten-year average of 89 per cent. 

West-central Saskatchewan came in at 73 per cent complete in the latest report. Crops extension specialist Matt Struthers broke down the latest report as it pertains to the region. 

"Things look really good in west-central." began Struthers, though local producers would still like to be closer to their five-year average of 97 per cent. "I know that producers in that area would really like to have more of that crop in, but on the flip-side, the good news of why that crop hasn't gone in is because of the moisture they are getting. On one hand, yes you would like to get the crop in. But on the other, it's good to see that moisture finally arriving."

The rain is helping make up for dry conditions the past few years. Positive results are already being noticed in the moisture levels, and that's been a huge stress reliever for many.

"In the last couple of years we had decent springs, got the year off to a good start; then it's gotten very dry throughout the summer months." said Struthers, as this year has provided more of a cushion against possible drought. "Hopefully that will carry us through into the hotter July days, August days, so we aren't going to see as much as a regression as we have seen in previous years.

Struthers is thinking that farmers are happy with the current situation.

"Conditions of the crops are looking really good, very strong. Same with our topsoil moisture conditions, not only for cropland, but also for hay and pasture." 

Struthers said the livestock producers are the ones with the biggest weight off their shoulders.

"A breath of fresh air for a lot of cattle producers in the province. They have been struggling with how long they can hold cattle on their pastures, and a lot of other things, so it's good to see that those conditions are improving."

As for how things are growing, crops are trending up as well, one local seed growing better than the rest as Struthers explained.

"West-central is always the 'pulse paradise' you could call it I suppose. Field peas and lentils are always leading the pack, 91 and 85 per cent there respectively." said Struthers.

Working his way down the list, Struthers shared why canola might be having a harder time getting in the ground.

"During those cool, wet, kind of damper soils, you don't want to put canola in maybe as early as the other crops because you might run into issues." he said, as warmer and drier conditions shortly should lead to solid progress. "We're hopeful the farmers get the weather they need, get that crop in the ground, then we can get a little more moisture and warmth to get the crop out of the ground quite quickly."

The only other thing Struthers wanted to note was the emergence of pests, along with the crop.

"As the crop is put in the ground and starts coming out, so do pests. We do have some reports of cutworms and flea beetle activity up-ticking, and of course that will increase as more crop comes out of the ground." he added. "Hopefully it works out that the damage is quite minor, and producers are able to get out there and control the pests as needed."

View the complete crop report for the province HERE.