Seeding operations continue to progress with warmer temperatures expected to help dry things up on the eastern side of the prairies - southeast Saskatchewan and into Manitoba.
Bruce Burnett, the Director of Markets and Weather for MarketsFarm says seeding operations began in Alberta.
"Obviously, there is some dryness ( those fires up in central and northern Alberta ), but the soils themselves, in most cases, farmers have adequate soil moisture in those regions. Alberta is pressing ahead right now, and especially given the forecast for dry weather and mostly warmer than normal conditions for Alberta in the upcoming couple of weeks. We will have caught up and probably be ahead of normal in terms of planting progress there. In Saskatchewan, it's a bit more of a mixed bag. We've had some late season snowstorms that hit Manitoba and Eastern Saskatchewan and that has delayed start in those areas. In fact, last week, we saw some rains also move up right on the Manitoba-Saskatchewan border that's going to keep guys out of the field even more. Western Saskatchewan progress that's been decent. On the eastern areas again, eastern Saskatchewan-Manitoba a later start to planting, it'll probably take about 10 days here before we get good seeding progress going on. "
With the forecast warmer than normal and relatively dry that should help farmers catch up in those areas.
Overall, he says moisture conditions in most areas of the prairies have improved from last fall.
"We did see dryness across most of the northern and central grainbelt, but as you move into the southern grainbelt, especially southern Alberta, southwestern Saskatchewan, we did see above average winter precipitation so that has helped us get off to a better start in terms of soil moisture."
However, he cautions that the subsoil moisture conditions continue to be very, very dry in the western half of the prairie
He says we need to see regular, timely rainfall throughout the growing season.
"Looks as if this year is going to be one where we don't see extended dry patterns forming over the prairies during the late spring into the summer. So, in that case, that would be good news, as we'll get some of these rains that we've been missing in the western growing areas over the past few years."