Guenther: NW Sask. growers hustle within seeding window

Some consider seeding now, post-seeding burn-off later

Seeding goes full speed ahead on Jay Millard's field near Livelong, Sask. on Wednesday, May 21. (Lisa Guenther photo)

Jay Millard is chipper so far this seeding season.

“The weather’s been good. It’s warmed up and things are growing. That’s as good as it gets,” he said.

Millard farms about 3,500 acres in the Livelong area, about 90 km northwest of North Battleford, Sask. As of Friday he has about 2,000 acres under his belt and expects to finish by the last day of May.

Seeding has been going smoothly, “other than a few rain delays, which hasn’t really affected a whole lot,” he said.

Planting is going great in the Medstead area as well, according to Errin Tollefson, an agronomist with Cavalier Agrow. Medstead is about 80 km northeast of North Battleford.

“We’re progressing nicely and I’d say we’re about 30 to 40 per cent complete by the end of today,” she said.

HOW’S SEEDING COMING? We’re looking for photos of your seeding work this spring by email at [email protected].

The most recent crop report from Saskatchewan Agriculture, dated Monday, put 22 per cent of the crop in the ground provincewide.

Farmers in the southwest were the most advanced with 39 per cent of acres seeded, while the southeast lagged at 19 per cent due to rain. West-central Saskatchewan was 29 per cent seeded, the northwest at 17 per cent and east-central 12 per cent. Farmers in the northeast trailed at nine per cent.

Rain is Monday’s forecast for Medstead, so farmers are working extra hard to get the seed in before then, Tollefson said.

Some farmers, in a hurry to finish seeding, are opting for a post-seeding burn rather than pre-seeding, she said.

Although a pre-seed burn is the preferred practice when there’s lots of weed growth, spraying after seeding can work well, she said.

Farmers should read labels to make sure products are registered for a post-seed application, and Tollefson said they should check for ground crack.

“Any time after ground crack is far too late for a burn-off product,” she said.

If it does rain Monday, crops will pop out of the ground quickly, Tollefson said. “So if you are planning a post-seed, just make sure that your crop hasn’t emerged.”

If farmers miss both the pre- and post-seed burn, “they really have to be early with their in-crop app,” she said.

Farmers should also stay safe as they put in long hours this weekend, she said. “Everyone gets really tired so make sure you work hard but sleep, too.”

— Lisa Guenther is a field editor for Grainews at Livelong, Sask. Follow her at @LtoG on Twitter.

 

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