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Steady harvest progression, but yields, crop quality suffers

Alberta crop conditions as of August 22

A week of warm and relatively dry weather throughout the province benefited crop development in the northern regions and allowed harvest to progress rapidly in the South. Crop Conditions have stabilized at 54 per cent rated good or excellent, down less than 2 points on the week. Provincial harvest progress has advanced to 6 per cent swathed and 12 per cent combined, virtually exclusively on progress in the South region. The 5 year harvest average is 11 per cent swathed and 6 per cent harvested. Harvest progress is approximately 10 days ahead in the South, average in the Central, and 10-14 days behind in the North. A long frost free fall will be needed to allow crops to mature in many areas in the North.

Provincial dryland yields will be down 5-10 per cent from their 5 year averages and 15-20 per cent below 2016. The South region has been the most affected by the weather this year resulting in dryland yield reductions of 25-30 per cent from the 5 year average and 25-30 per cent below last year. Significant reductions in quality are also noted. The expanding dry conditions in the Central region has projected yields down 10-15 per cent below their 5 year averages and 20-25 per cent below last year. Yields in the remainder of province are expected to be average to slightly above but 5-10 per cent below last year.

2nd cut dryland haying is well underway with 33 per cent completed. The lack of good pasture in the South due to the drought is expected to force cow-calf producers to provide supplemental feed earlier than usual.

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

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