MEDICINE HAT, AB — Farmers in southern Alberta are already off to a good start for seeding, according to the most recent Alberta Crop Report.
The report, released Friday, shows 66.7 per cent of all crops in the region, which includes Lethbridge and Medicine Hat, are in the ground. This is up from 24.8 per cent of crops in the region being seeded last year.
“It’s been a pretty good season so far, as far as getting the seed in the ground is concerned,” said Harry Brook, a crop specialist with Alberta Agriculture and Forestry, over the phone from Stettler.
Across the entire province, 42.4 per cent of crops have been seeded, up from 7.7 per cent at this time one year ago.
Brook says moisture conditions have started to improve and are allowing farmers to ensure seeding is done on time, unlike in 2018, when they got a late start to the season.
“Last year, we had very cold temperatures, and almost like right up until the end of April, and all of a sudden, May turned really hot and dry,” he said.
Brook says the rain in the forecast for the long weekend will have benefit for area farmers.
“The biggest benefit of course is for those fields that have been seeded already, and for the hay and pasture,” he said. “Last year was absolutely horrible, because we didn’t get that crucial spring moisture, and that’s what we needed for hay and pasture and grass growth, to really get off to a good start and produce some kind of production on dry land.
“If we can get a couple of inches this spring, that will certainly set things up for a much better situation than what occurred last year.”
As for Saskatchewan, according to their most recent crop report, 38 percent of the crop is in the ground, ahead of the five-year average of 31 per cent at this time of the year.
Southwest Saskatchewan is at 52 per cent completion, according to the report.
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