SE Sask farmers worried about moisture, availability of parts as seeding begins

Farmers in southeast Saskatchewan are concerned about moisture as seeding  begins.
Blake Duchek says the recent moisture was much-needed East of Atwater following 2020’s dry fall and low snowfall winter.
He says that before the snow came, he was able to make preparations for seeding.
“We’ve done a little bit of fieldwork to prep some things before we can get seeding here before this last snowfall. Then the snow came and we’ve been sitting since, things are ready to go but we’re just waiting for it to warm up and for the snow to disappear. The temperature is a big thing now, though, that we need to lift,” Duchek said.
Even with minor delays brought on by the snowfall, Duchek says the moisture was necessary for his area.
“We were pretty dry. There was no sub-soil moisture last fall, you could dig down 15 feet and the dirt was like flour all the way through, it was super dusty. That snow that we got was much-needed. It’ll be a start to get stuff germinating but we’re going to need some timely rains at the end of May and beginning of June for sure.”
Duchek says concerns about the availabilityof parts, saying the COVID-19 restrictions are starting to take their toll on the supply lines.
To remedy this, Duchek says he’s been keeping a stockpile of spare parts.
“Things are relatively okay for us. Last year with the COVID-19 pandemic we weren’t affected much last spring as far as getting parts, fuel, inputs, and everything, but now the supply chain is kind of drained out, and getting parts is a concern, even tires are a concern. If you get a deer horn through a tire there are no tires around until June to fix the air seeder, so stuff like that is a concern. We need to make sure we have a lot of parts on hand that we usually don’t keep. Little things like electrical plugs and anything you can think of. Stuff is getting scarce to get and you don’t want to have an air seeder sitting there because of a $5 item.
“Aside from that COVID-19 hasn’t impacted us greatly. It’s just that everything requires a bit more planning and a bit more looking ahead to make sure you’ve got everything in place, be it inputs, parts, or even just help. If you have a guy that catches COVID or something you have to have a backup plan, because they’ll have to self-quarantine for two weeks, and that’s a good chunk of the seeding window in spring.”
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