After an extremely wet spring last year, many Saskatchewan acres were seeded last week due to dry weather and good conditions. This farmer was seeding just north of Moosomin last week

After wet year in 2011: Seeding progress ahead of average

May 21, 2012 9:04 am
Leslie-Ann Kroeker

After a wet spring prevented some farmers from ever getting a crop in the ground in 2011, seeding is ahead of schedule this year.

According to the most recent Saskatchewan Agriculture crop report, 22 per cent of crops across the province have been seeded. The report also states that 14 per cent has been seeded in the southeast area of the province.

The five year average for this time of year is approximately 18 per cent completed, which means the current seeding rate in Saskatchewan is above the average and will only continue to get better this week if the warm weather continues.

"We didn't even turn a wheel last year," said Murray Reid, whose farm is located outside of Welwyn. "So getting seeding done in this early was a lot different."

"We've been seeding all through May, so I would say it's been quite a success."

Reid is half was through seeding his 900 acre farm. He has started on his flax and hoping to get his canola in early this week. He says having his crop in this early is a rarity but he is happy to be ahead of the game.

"Having some crop in the ground in the middle of May is nice. 25 years ago we would maybe only start up this week," said Reid.

Despite the bad memories of last year, Reid is confident that this year will be different. "It's going to be a good year" he said.

Agriculture companies are also happy with the outcome of the season so far.

"Up to a week ago we were figuring that about five per cent of the seeding was done but at this point in time there are quite a few guys who are half done," says Chris Thomas, manager of Moosomin's Parrish and Heimbecker grain terminal.

"Nothing can compare to last year. Last year was just such a disaster that nothing can compare to that hopefully ever again. But if you were to compare it to two years ago I would say we're pretty much on track," said Thomas.

"The farmers are getting the crop in at a really significant pace this year. We're going to see some smiles when this crop year is done."

A significant amount of rain washed over the province in the beginning of May, which threatened to repeat the poor conditions of last year.

But the warm weather and dry winds have dried up any signs of saturation, leaving great conditions for seeding last week.

"The guys I have talked to have put a big dent in the last few days. They've gotten a fair amount of acres done. Most of them are sitting a lot better then where they were last year by a long shot," said Agriculture specialist at Meyers Norris Penny Dave Ablass.

Ablass says successful seeding always comes down to the weather.

"Just the weather, it was very wet last year and hardly anybody got any seed in the ground but this year they've been able to get out there and get more seeded than last year. I would say it's fairly optimistic."

Ablass says a successful season would boost not only farmers spirits, but also their wallets.
"For the most part the program payments that everybody received last year helped them. They didn't gain anything but they didn't lose a whole bunch. This year with the good prices they'll probably have a good year and it will reduce the negative effect they had last year," said Ablass.

Along with 14 per cent of seeding being complete in the southeast, The Saskatchewan Agriculture crop report says 42 per cent has been completed in the southwest, 12 per cent in the east-central area, 17 per cent in the west-central area, 21 per cent in the northeast and 28 per cent in the northwest.