'You’re in the danger zone': Sask. farmers brave wet conditions after heavy rain
SASKATOON -- Smeaton farmer Ryan Reid says there was a late thaw of the ground in his region and his land was still covered in snow in the first part of May.
The rain received June 6 and 7 created even wetter conditions in low laying areas: runs and creeks he now has to avoid with the tractor and air-seeder.
“Where the dirt gets dark and you know you’re in the danger zone and you’re going to get stuck.”
According to Environment Canada, some places in the northeast region were hit with more than 30 millimeters of precipitation. Almost 20 mL of rain along with heavy winds pummeled the Smeaton area June 7.
“So far we’ve seen the majority of rain northeast of Prince Albert. In the last crop report we saw that Paddockwood had the highest amount of precipitation so far. But that could have changed in the past week,” said crop extension specialist Allie Nobel with Saskatchewan Agriculture.
Nobel said Sask Ag is aware of the concerns of producers in the region and is there to offer advice. She said the added moisture has reduced the amount of acres being seeded. There is more risk for producers when seeding late as frost and moisture are more likely to damage crops at harvest time.
“There’s a shorter window in the north for harvesting so we would hope that those crops are able to mature in time if not we might have an early frost where we could potentially see some green seed in canola or that kind of thing,” Nobel said.
Flea beetles have been reported in the area and are damaging canola crops.
Some farmers near the English Fire in Fort a la Corne also lost one to two days because they had to dedicate time to building fire guards to protect fences and corrals.
As of June 4, 96 per cent of the total crop in the province was planted, ahead of the five-year average of 92 per cent for this time of year.
That figure is lowest (93 per cent) in the east-central area of the province and highest (97 per cent) in the southeast and west-central regions.