A significant turnaround of weather conditions across the Prairies during the first half of May has hopefully sent winter packing and will now allow farmers to increase seeding operations. Farmers are already seeding across many central and southern areas where the snow melted sooner and warm temperatures and sunshine have dried soils enough to allow for fieldwork.
The late departure of snow cover and April's chill have kept soil conditions too wet across some northern areas where a delayed start of the spring seeding season is noted. Even across the south some areas are still a little too wet for full fieldwork operations.
The good news is that most areas have at least adequate soil moisture for seeds to germinate this spring with some areas in the surplus category. Reports indicate that adequate soil moisture conditions prevail across western Saskatchewan and most of southern portion of Alberta while mostly surplus soil moisture covers areas across the eastern half of Saskatchewan as well as central and northeast Alberta.
The weather conditions during the past week have been quite favorable for fieldwork and seeding and we expect more of the same through the weekend. So far during May temperatures have averaged a few degrees above normal for much of the region despite some very chilly readings to start the month. Rainfall has been below normal this month but that is mostly good news after the wet, snowy, cold April.
The weather outlook for the next couple of weeks is marginally good but we may see a couple of bumps in the road, mostly with respect to rainfall. The overall weather pattern favors temperatures to remain on the plus side of normal through next week but rainfall may increase for central and southeast areas during the early and middle part of next week as low pressure lingers across the northern Plains of the U.S.
There are some signs that temperatures could dip down some late next week or during the 10-to-15 day period. We may also see some further rainfall if a predicted upper level trough sets up shop through the Pacific Northwest of the U.S. Where soil conditions permit, current weather conditions will allow for rapid seeding progress for a few more days, hopefully not delaying the crop season too much as wetter weather returns next week.
Doug Webster can be reached at Doug .Webster@telventdtn.com
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