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Rain, snow mix freezes harvest progress

Alberta crop conditions as of September 11, 2018

Favourable weather conditions at the beginning of the past week led to harvest progress of about 11 per cent in Alberta, before the cold arctic weather brought a mix of rain and snow later in the week, which halted harvest. Provincially, about 28 per cent of crops have now been harvested, up 11 per cent from last week, while 23 per cent are in the swath, compared to 14 per cent a week ago. About 49 per cent of crops remain standing, down 20 per cent from last week. Provincially, nearly 80 per cent of dry peas, 37 per cent of barley, 29 per cent of spring wheat, 13 per cent of canola and nine per cent of oats are in the bin. Also, 45 per cent of canola, 12 per cent of barley, 10 per cent of oats and nine per cent of spring wheat have been swathed.

When compared to the 5-year average (2013-2017), harvest progress has advanced about six per cent in the Southern Region and three per cent in the Central Region, due to the dry conditions in the Southern Region and most areas of the Central Region. However, harvest progress is behind about 12 and seven per cent respectively, in the North East and North West Regions, due to a wet season. In these two regions, crops are almost ready for harvest, but wet conditions as a result of recent precipitation have delayed harvest. The Peace Region has experienced a wet season so far compared to normal, with cool, damp conditions for the last couple of weeks. The region also had less sunshine than normal over the month of August, due to smoke from the BC wildfires. Consequently, harvest progress in the Peace Region is about 26 per cent behind the 5-year average.

Both surface and sub-surface soil moisture ratings across the province have improved in all regions, due to recent precipitation. Surface soil moisture (sub-surface soil moisture rating are in brackets) is now rated as 18 (22) per cent poor, 31 (33) per cent fair, 41 (34) per cent good and 9 (10) per cent excellent, with one (one) per cent excessive. Pasture conditions (tame hay conditions are in brackets) are rated as 35 (34) per cent poor, 38 (37) per cent fair, 25 (27) per cent good and two (two) per cent 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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