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The number of unseeded acres isn’t pretty

Even with a run of perfect weather, many northern producers are unlikely to finish seeding all their acres.

As of May 23, (the last crop report before press time) just 57 per cent of seeding was complete province-wide versus the five-year average of 83 per cent.

The north has particularly struggled with getting seed in the ground, said Ashan Shooshtarian, crop statistician with Alberta Agriculture and Forestry, with barely a third of their acres seeded by May 23 (the south was 88 per cent done and the central region was 67 per cent seeded as of that date).

“The northeast, northwest, and Peace Region have had more challenges than the southern and central regions due to the excessive soil moisture that they have because of the snow melting and receiving some moisture during the spring,” said Shooshtarian.

“These regions are suffering more from the wet conditions.”

And farmers are still contending with unharvested acres from last year, she added. As of May 23, about 80 per cent of 2016’s unharvested crop had been removed from the field, up about 19 per cent from the previous week, but there are still around 233,000 acres yet to be harvested.

About the author

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Jennifer Blair is a Red Deer-based reporter with a post-secondary education in professional writing and nearly 10 years of experience in corporate communications, policy development, and journalism. She's spent half of her career telling stories about an industry she loves for an audience she admires--the farmers who work every day to build a better agriculture industry in Alberta.

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