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Wet weather slows harvest pace

Alberta crop conditions as of September 4, 2018

Wet weather over the past week has slowed down harvesting operations in most areas across the province, especially in the North East, North West and Peace Regions. Frost was reported in some areas, but it is still early to estimate any potential damage. Currently, the quality for all crops are estimated higher than their short and long term averages, but the recent moisture coupled with forecasted precipitation over the next week are expected to have some potential impact.

Provincially, 17 per cent of the crop has now been harvested (up seven per cent from last week), 14 per cent is in swath and 69 per cent remain standing. When compared to the 5-year average (2013-2017), harvest progress is behind in all regions. About 20 per cent of spring wheat, 38 per cent of durum wheat, 81 per cent of winter wheat, 32 per cent of barley, eight per cent of oats, 33 per cent of canola, 65 per cent of dry peas, 77 per cent of lentils and 62 per cent of dry beans have either been combined or swathed.

Preliminary dryland yield indices remained similar to two weeks ago. The provincial estimated dryland yield index is six per cent below the 5-year average and in line with the 10-year average. Currently, compared to the short term normal, yields for the Peace Region are above average (by 20 per cent), for the North East and North West Regions are on par and for the Southern and Central Regions are below the average, respectively, 27 per cent and six per cent. Compared to the long term normal, yields are above average in the Peace (32 per cent), North West (five per cent), North East (seven per cent) and Central (three per cent) Regions, while it is 27 per cent below average in the Southern Region. Average yield for potatoes are estimated at 7.1 and 15.2 tons per acre, respectively, on dryland and irrigated fields. For sugar beets, the average yield is reported at 28 tons per acre, while for dry beans it is 26 cwt per acre.

Provincially, second cut hay is 38 per cent complete for dryland and 59 per cent on irrigation. Preliminary average yield (5-year averages are shown in brackets) on dryland is estimated at 0.9 (1.1) ton per acre, with quality rated at 67 (72) per cent good to excellent. For irrigated hay, average yield is reported at 1.6 (1.7) tons per acre and quality rated as 74 (77) per cent good to excellent.

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

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