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       Friday, October 20, 2017

Saskatchewan farmers are planning to seed 34.2 million acres, which is three per cent above the 10-year (1998-2007) average of 33.3 million acres, and four per cent above last year's 33.1 million acres, according to Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture's first weekly crop report for 2008.

Crops that show increases in intended acreage include: spring wheat, durum, flax, canola, mustard, lentils and peas. Crops that are expected to show acre­age decreases include: oats, barley, triticale, canary seed and chickpeas. Summerfallow area is estimated to decrease to 5.01 million acres, which is 31 per cent below the 10-year average.

Crop reporters indicated that there is some uncertainty about seeding plans, so seeding intentions may still change. Part of this uncertainty can be attrib­uted to dry soil conditions in the southern part of the province, slow snow melt in northern areas and high input prices. Statistics Canada will release the results of its seeding intentions survey on April 21.

According to Saskatchewan Watershed Authority's April 2008 report, winter precipitation totals generally varied from below normal in southern areas to near normal in northern areas of the grainbelt. March weather patterns consisted of below normal precipitation and low daytime temperatures, followed by cold nights. This resulted in a very slow melt in southern areas of the province, and an overall reduction in runoff potential across the entire province.

The weekly crop report, compiled by Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture, is based on estimates received from a network of provincial crop reporters.


1 Year Ago

Seeded acreage was projected at 34.1 million acres - slightly below the 10-year average.

Mild and record high temperatures during March melted much of the snow-pack in areas south of a line extending from Yorkton, to just north of Saskatoon and then across to Lloydminster.


South eastern Saskatchewan (Crop Districts 1, 2, & 3as-east)

Winter precipitation (November 1 to March 31) was below normal in the south eastern area of the grainbelt. The Moose Jaw area received 56% of normal winter precipitation with Broadview receiving 65%, Estevan 67%, Indian Head 66% and Regina 68% of normal. The southeast corner of Saskatchewan and the southwest corner of Manitoba received less than 50% of normal winter precipitation. Little snow remains on the ground and overall runoff has been marginal.  Water supply shortages are a major concern.

An average of less than 1 mm of precipitation fell since April 1, 2008 with both snow and rain reported. Heavy, wet snowfalls in March helped improve moisture prospects in some areas, but many dugouts remain low.

Producers are cleaning seed, hauling grain, and calving cows. Gophers have been active for awhile and are out in large numbers.

According to various insect forecasts, the following information pertains to the southeast. Some hotspots for wheat midge occur south of the Qu'Appelle River Valley. Climatic conditions - mainly temperature and moisture - ultimately determine the extent and timing of midge emergence during the growing season. South eastern areas were identified as being at low risk for grasshoppers, though there could be economic risk to lentils in areas on the eastern edge of the region. The severity of an infestation will depend primarily on weather conditions in the spring. The southeast is at low to moderate risk for the bertha armyworm. Cutworms, wireworms, and sawflies could be a risk again this year where they were a problem last year.


South western Saskatchewan (Crop Districts 3as-west, 3an, 3b, & 4)

Winter precipitation (November 1 to March 31) was generally below normal in south western areas of the grainbelt. Per cent of normal values are: Swift Current - 93%, Cypress Hills - 123%, Coronach - 59%, Leader - 77%, Val Marie - 20%, Eastend - 25%, Maple Creek - 52%, and Assiniboia - 40%. Little snow, if any, remains on the ground in the southwest. Overall runoff in the area has been marginal and reservoirs and dugouts are at low levels. Water supply shortages are a major concern.

An average of less than ½ mm of precipitation has fallen since April 1.  Some soil erosion from wind was reported in the Stewart Valley and Consul areas.

Gophers are out in abundance and poisoning for control is underway.  Gophers were seen in the Cadillac area all winter long. Producers are getting machinery ready, cleaning seed, and calving cows. Some cultivation has begun in the Spring Valley area.  There was a report of mustard seed planted in March in the southwest corner of the province. Crop reporters are commenting the high costs of fuel and fertilizer are challenging for producers.

The southwest has the lowest risk of wheat midge in the province. Most areas in the southwest have been identified with few grasshopper infestations. Areas of moderate to severe risk are indicated near Elrose and Assiniboia.  Areas that could have economic risk for lentils are around Swift Current and south of Cadillac. The southwest is at low risk for the bertha armyworm. The pea leaf weevil is expected to be found in the southwest from Maple Creek up to Leader. Cutworms, wireworms, cabbage seedpod weevils, and sawflies could be a risk again this year where they were a problem last year.


East central Saskatchewan (Crop Districts 5 & 6a)

Winter precipitation (November 1 to March 31) was below normal in east central areas of the grainbelt. The Yorkton area received 85% of normal and the Wynyard area received 57% of normal. Just over the border, the Roblin, Manitoba area was 80% of normal. Runoff potential has been limited in the area by a slow melt and below normal snowfall. Water levels at Fishing and Wakaw lakes are expected to be high again this year; however, levels are not expected to reach the record high levels of last spring.

An average of 1 mm of precipitation has fallen since April 1, 2008, with more snow being recorded than rain. Southern areas of the region are dry while northern areas still have snow to melt.

 The gophers are out and control measures are being taken. Farmers are cleaning grain, hauling grain, and going to auction sales. Farmers have expressed concern over the high prices of some inputs.

The risk of wheat midge infestation is severe in the east central region. Climatic conditions - mainly temperature and moisture - ultimately determine the extent and timing of midge emergence during the growing season. The majority of the east central region indicates none to very light risk of grasshopper infestation. Areas of light to severe risk include the Dysart, Southey, Kelliher, and Jansen areas. East central Saskatchewan is a moderate to high risk area for bertha armyworm infestations. Cutworms, wireworms, and sawflies could be a risk again this year where they were a problem last year.


West central Saskatchewan (Crop Districts 6b & 7)

Winter precipitation (November 1 to March 31) was below normal in west central areas of the grainbelt. Per cent of normal values are: Rosetown - 75%, Outlook - 55%, Saskatoon - 55%, Scott - 68%, and Kindersley - 61%. Overall, runoff has been marginal and dugouts did not fill. Water supply shortages are a concern in some areas.

An average of less than ½ mm of precipitation has fallen since April 1, 2008.  The snow is slow to melt, but there is hope that warmer temperatures could melt the snow in shelterbelts and provide for some additional runoff.

Farmers are calving cows, cleaning grain, hauling grain, and some have started putting fertilizer down. They are optimistic with commodity prices, but disappointed with high input prices.

The risk of wheat midge infestations is generally low in the west central region, with high risk areas north of Kindersley, and medium to high risk areas south and west of Saskatoon. The west central region is largely at very light risk for grasshopper infestations except the Rosetown area where the risk ranges from light to severe. The southern part of the west central region is at low risk for the bertha armyworm, while northern and western areas of the region are at moderate to high risk. The pea leaf weevil is expected to be found as far east and north as Kindersley this year.  Cutworms, wireworms, and sawflies could be a risk again this year where they were a problem last year.


North eastern Saskatchewan (Crop Districts 8 & 9a-east)

Winter precipitation (November 1 to March 31) was below to near normal in north eastern areas of the grainbelt. The Prince Albert area received 90% of normal winter precipitation with Nipawin at 82%, Melfort at 84%, and Hudson Bay at 53% of normal. This area has experienced some consolidation of the snow pack, but very little melt has occurred. Although the runoff potential has diminished over the month of March due to the lack of new snow, there is an increasing potential for a quick thaw which could produce high peak flows. The highest runoff potential centers around the Prince Albert area and extend northward to La Ronge.

An average of less than 1 mm of precipitation has fallen since April 1, 2008.

Farmers have expressed concern about "overwhelming input costs." Farmers have started some machinery maintenance in anticipation of warmer temperatures.

Wheat midge cocoons were present in north eastern soil samples in a 2007 fall survey with a potential for medium to high risk throughout the region. The northeast is at none to very light risk for grasshopper infestation. The northeast is at moderate to high risk for bertha armyworm infestations. Cutworms, wireworms, and sawflies could be a risk again this year where they were a problem last year.


North western Saskatchewan (Crop Districts 9a-west & 9b)

Winter precipitation (November 1 to March 31) was below normal to near normal in north western areas of the grainbelt. The Meadow Lake area was 90% of normal, the Lloydminster area was 89% while the North Battleford area was 43% of normal. Across the western border, Vermillion and Wainwright showed 40% or less of normal winter precipitation. The runoff is expected to be above normal once the snow melts, due to a fairly wet fall.

An average of 3 mm of precipitation has fallen since April 1, 2008, much of it in the form of snow.  There is still a lot of snow in the area, and cool temperatures mean slow melting.

There has been wildlife damage on fall-seeded crops in the North Battleford area.

The risk of wheat midge infestation is low to medium in the northwest. High risk is indicated in the Lloydminster area. Infestations of grasshoppers that might meet economic thresholds for cereals are expected north of Lloydminster.  Northern areas of the northwest region are at low risk for bertha armyworm infestations while southern areas of the region are at moderate to high risk. Cutworms, wireworms, and sawflies could be a risk again this year where they were a problem last year.




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