It may have been a late start, but spring seeding operations are underway across the province.

The Ministry of Agriculture released its first crop report of the season on Thursday.

Crops extension specialist Matt Struthers says so far nine percent of the provincial crop is in the ground, as compared to the five-year average of 23 per cent complete.

"Surprisingly for this year the northwest actually leads the seeding progress for the province sitting at 17 per cent of their crop in the ground. They were drier and got a little bit warmer than the rest of us. That's followed up by the west-central region with 14 per cent or their crop in the ground, and the southwest at 13 per cent."

The northeast has seven per cent seeding complete, which is ahead of normal for this time of year, while the southeast and east central regions have wetter fields than the rest of the province have three per cent of the crop in. 

Topsoil moisture for cropland is rated as five per cent surplus, 72 per cent adequate, 21 per cent short, and two per cent very short. 

Hay and pasture land is rated as two per cent surplus, 66 per cent adequate, 28 per cent short and four per cent very short. 

He says while these conditions show improvement over last fall, producers are hoping for more rain once they get the crop in and timely rains throughout the growing season.

Over the last few  years, water quality and supply issues have been a problem for livestock producers especially in the southwest and west-central areas of the province,

Producers in areas that did not receive adequate snowfall are anticipating minor to moderate water shortages over the next two months if they do not receive significant rainfall.

Calving is coming to an end and livestock producers will soon begin assessing their pastures and moving cattle out when they can. 

Producers who are running low on feed for their livestock have already started moving some of their herd to pasture to help reduce feed consumption. 

Warm weather and some light rains would be appreciated by many livestock producers to ensure cattle have adequate feed while on pasture.

Overall, producers are being reminded to focus on safety at home, in the field and on the road when moving equipment, also be careful when working in dry areas to ensure sparks or any other fire risk is limited and that a water source is available.

Saskatchewan Crop Report is available here.