(REVISED) — Saskatchewan farmers are planning to seed 34.2 million acres — 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 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 expected to show acreage decreases include oats, barley, triticale, canary seed and chickpeas. Summerfallow area is estimated to decrease to 5.01 million acres, 31 per cent below the 10-year average.
Crop reporters indicated 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 snowmelt in northern areas and high input prices.
Statistics Canada will release the results of its seeding intentions survey on April 21.
According to the Saskatchewan Watershed Authority’s April 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, the SWA report said. This resulted in a very slow melt in southern areas of the province, and an overall reduction in runoff potential across the entire province.
(Correction from source: The April 8 version of this article indicated Saskatchewan farmers would seed 39.5 million acres in 2008, below the 10-year average of 40.6 million acres and above the 33.1 million acres seeded in 2007. As well, the earlier report said summerfallow acres would remain at around 5.3 million acres, comparable to 2007 levels. Saskatchewan Agriculture on Wednesday revised its numbers, reflected in the article above.)