Farmers are working away at getting crops in the ground as seeding continues, with a good week of work without too much moisture.

Some in the West are now looking forward to rain, as they're currently leading the pack in crops planted.

That's according to Crops Extension Specialist Matthew Struthers, who gives us a look at the province's fields.

"Producers made a lot of progress this past week and they're seeding operations and we're currently sitting at 68 per cent of the 2023 crop now in the ground. That's just behind the five-year average of 76 per cent. So we've made up a lot of progress over that short period of time to make up for that delay earlier on in the season. So obviously we're seeing the most progress in the Western half of the province where the East, Central, and Southeast are kind of lagging behind."

In the southeast, moisture has already been a problem for many, pushing back the seeding date and putting them behind schedule.

"Northwest is sitting at 84 per cent of their crop in the ground, they'll be wrapping up here in about a week or so, followed by the West Central with 81 per cent. The Northeast was 76 per cent, the Southwest was 73 per cent. The East Central was 58 per cent and then finally the Southeast was 51 per cent. So the East Central and the Southeast have a bit of work to do," said Struthers, "But those producers are just trying to be as patient as they can waiting for those fields to dry up and allow them to actually get into them."

The current numbers focus on the week ending May 22nd, so topsoil moisture numbers haven't yet caught up from the moisture that's parked itself over Saskatchewan.

"You know, after the warm, windy week that many producers in the province experienced over the past week there, we're seeing those numbers drop. Provincially topsoil moisture for cropland is rated as 2 per cent surplus, 63 per cent adequate, 29 per cent short, and 6 per cent very short. So still very good compared to previous years and how dry it's been," said Struthers, "But we would like to see a nice good provincial-wide soaking rain hit the province and that would certainly help the hay and pasture land, which is rated as 59 per cent adequate, 31 per cent short and 10 per cent very short. We're seeing the driest pastures in the Northwest, West Central, and Southwest region." 

Crop development currently is looking favourable for spring cereals, pulses, and oil seeds, with Struthers hoping that further moisture can help that along.

Even though more rain is likely for this forecast, it still might not be enough to take some areas off of a fire watch.

"It all depends on how much rain is received and I think until you know a widespread soaking rain that really gets everything nice and damp occurs that producers and the public should stay very vigilant about fires and be as careful as they can because as we all know," said Struthers, "Things can light up quite quickly and nobody wants that to occur. So I would say be as cautious as possible and err on the side of safety before thinking it's all good out there."