The weekly report shows winter cereal crops  in the province have been struggling.

Crops Extension Specialist Matt Struthers says they've had reports of winterkill on winter wheat, fall rye and other fall seeded crops.

He says there's more of a concern in the southwest, where snow cover was not adequate enough to protect the crop.

"They just didn't get the snow coverage needed to insulate those crops and help them survive the winter. So producers are seeing some poor germination and emergence in those crops coming out of the cool, cool weather that we had. So maybe a little bit of precipitation and those crops can rebound."

He notes farmers are busy assessing the damage and determining whether to reseed.

Provincially, seeding operations are well behind the five-year average for this year.

Struthers says currently, one per cent of the 2022 crop is in the ground, compared to the five-year average of five per cent.

Seeding has started in the southwest where eight per cent of the crop is in, with two per cent in for the west-central area.

"If we look at last April I don't think it rained or snowed once, and we had some nice warm days, compared to this April where we had two snow storms and really cold days. So that just all impacted mainly the eastern half of the province, and then also the north, and that just slowed those farmers right down and they weren't able to get in their fields."

He notes the southwest and west central area didn't get the snowfall other areas of the province did over the winter, so the snow melt soaked into the ground a lot faster.

Provincially, the cropland topsoil  moistures rate is five per cent surplus, 55 per cent adequate, 26 per cent short and 14 per cent very short. Hay and pasture land are rated as two per cent surplus, 52 per cent adequate, 29 per cent short and 17 per cent very short.

Very little precipitation was reported in the past week, the most rain was reported in the Marengo area with 10 mm followed by the Marquis, Rockglen and Webb areas with five mm.

He says the spring runoff that we did see in the province was better than anticipated and helped to fill dugouts, creeks and sloughs which will take some pressure off livestock producers.

Struthers notes livestock producers are anxious to see pastures production improve so they can turn animals out, as they struggle to manage limited feed supplies.

"Forage feed supplies are rated as 35 per cent adequate and 65 per cent inadequate, while feed grain supplies are rated as 55 per cent adequate and 45 per cent inadequate."

He notes producers will need a good hay crop this year to replenish their feed supplies.

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