The long harvest of 2016, no thanks to the weather

Alberta crop conditions as of November 29 (Final report of 2016)

The harvest season for 2016 was one of the longest ones on record. Some producers began harvest operations in the first week of August and were unable to complete it until the end of November, due to cool wet weather that delayed harvest progress. As of November 29, Alberta producers combined 90 per cent of crops, with seven per cent in swath and three per cent standing. These will likely be left until the spring. Moisture over last few months was beneficial for fall seeded crops, which are now rated as two per cent poor, 14 per cent fair, 60 per cent good and 24 per cent excellent.

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Despite the harvest challenges for crops across the province, the dryland yield index was estimated 14.1 per cent above the 5-year average. However, the crop quality for cereals are below their 5-year averages, except malt barley which is higher. Crop quality for canola number one and the top two grades of dry peas are in line with the 5-year averages. About 66 per cent of hard red spring wheat has now graded in the top two grades, down 12 per cent from the 5-year average. About 54 per cent of durum wheat has graded number 2 or better, down 23 per cent from the 5-year average. About 23 per cent of barley is eligible for malt (up five per cent from the 5-year average) and 60 per cent is graded as number 1 (down seven per cent from the 5-year average). About 58 per cent of oats is graded in the top two grades, down 20 per cent from the 5-year average. Almost 81 per cent of harvested canola is graded as number one (in line with the 5-year average), with 14 per cent graded as number 2 (up two per cent from the 5-year average). About 73 per cent of dry peas are graded in the top two grades, in line with the 5-year averages.

Provincially, feed supplies are anticipated to be very good. Both forage and feed grain reserves are estimated as adequate to surplus, with very few producers anticipating a shortfall. Forage reserves are reported as one per cent deficit, nine per cent shortfall, 62 per cent adequate and 28 per cent surplus, while the rating for feed grain reserves is three per cent deficit, four per cent shortfall, 61 per cent adequate and 32 per cent surplus.

Click here to read the full report on the Alberta Agriculture website, complete with graphics and a breakdown by regions.

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