The recently released Saskatchewan Crop Report for the week of May 17-23 shows that farmers made a big leap in seeding progress.

Previously, the province had 19% of the crop planted, and with the newly reported number being at 52% the jump in that comes out to 33%.

Farmers had been held back from work by heavy rains and even snow in some regions previously, so many were breaking ground.

Because of those delays, this year farmers are still a bit farther back than they had been during previous years. Crop Extension Specialist Matthew Struthers says it's still good progress being made.

"We're still behind the five-year average of 78% for this time of year. We're still quite a ways back from where we usually are, but still in a pretty good position despite the delays."

For a breakdown of different areas, The west-central region is the furthest along with 81% of the crop seeded. 76% of the crop is seeded in the northwest, 73% seeded in the southwest, 44% seeded in the southeast, 22% seeded in the northeast and 21% seeded in the east-central region of the province.

The east did still receive plenty of moisture, with up to 88mm in some northern areas. As a whole, soil moisture improved across the province, though more so in the east. Cropland, pasture, and hayland all have nearly 69% of land as at least adequate.

Pasture conditions are also in a good spot for some with 10% excellent, 27% good, 36% fair, 16% poor and 11% very poor. Most of the struggles come from the west which had less rain than most other areas.

Some emergence has been seen so far, mainly in the west-central area. Most crop development is rated as normal, with the exception of canola which is 67% behind for this time of year.

Overall, Struthers says that he's optimistic about this year.

"I feel very good, very optimistic. I know that the rain and snow over the past week hampered a lot of seeding operations, but with the forecast hopefully having some sunny days and warm weather ahead of us, hopefully, those fields dry out and farmers are able to get in there and at least start seeding some of their fields and make a little bit of progress. Any bit of progress is good."

Producers also reported that they're still having trouble with shortages in farm equipment, as well as inputs and herbicides.