The seeding effort across the Canadian Prairies continues to make strong progress, despite a few bumps in the road during the past week or so. Some windy weather and locally heavy rains have brought slowdowns and brief stoppages in planting, but many farmers are playing catch-up to a late start to the seeding season.
Heavy rains of a 1/2 inch to 2 inches (13 to 51 millimeters) and locally heavier fell across Saskatchewan and eastern portions of Alberta during the past week bringing some planting delays, but also bolstering soil moisture. Some of these areas, particularly across Alberta, have turned drier since the winter snow has melted, so some rain is not a bad thing at this point.
Temperatures have been averaging 1 to 2 degrees C (2 to 3 F) above normal across most of the region from Alberta eastward to Saskatchewan during the May which also takes into account a very cold start. Manitoba is still lagging a little with readings a degree or two Celsius below normal so far.
Rainfall totals are showing a deficit by a small amount for portions of southern and western Alberta, as well as through eastern Saskatchewan to central Manitoba. A slight surplus in monthly rainfall has been noted so far for western Saskatchewan, as well as through southern Manitoba.
The weather prospects for the region continue to look mostly favorable as we move into June. No significant temperature extremes are expected through next week and we should see more dry days than showery ones. Enough moisture is expected so that soil moisture conditions remain at mostly adequate levels for most areas. Southern Alberta may be one area that could require a little more rain as we move through time.
Seeding should wrap up for most within the next week, if not sooner and crop germination is expected to take place with generally favorable growing weather expected in the short term. Longer-range computer models hint that June could end up just a little cooler and wetter than normal for the Prairies, but keep in mind that May was also forecast to be cool and wet and the month turned out to be not far from normal for rain and temperature.
As long as we stay away from extreme temperatures or very wet or dry conditions the prospects for germination and development of crops during the coming weeks looks good. Soil moisture conditions remain mostly favorable throughout the region.
Doug Webster can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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