Little harvest progress made, pasture, soil moisture ratings see improvement

Alberta crop conditions as of October 16, 2018

Overall, minimal harvest progress was achieved this reporting period. Last week the average of Major Crops harvested was 46.7 per cent as compared to this week we are up 3.2 points to 49.9 per cent. Over 95 per cent of peas are in the bin with the exception of Peace Region which has only 66.9 per cent. Producers who took advantage of the small windows of opportunity to combine were taking the crops off tough or damp and have been busy drying their grain. Frost was prevalent across the province which will tell in the grades of canola that may have had a higher green count or not yet mature. There are some reports of sprouted cereals in areas due to the moisture and lodging that occurred from heavier snowfall. Combines are already out in the field with the warm and drier weather, and with more of the same forecasted for next week hopefully considerable crop will be harvested in the coming days.

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Due to lack of harvest progress, very little change was reported in yield estimates from this week compared to last. To date yield estimates are at 46.4 bushels per acre for spring wheat, 32.9 for durum, 59.0 for barley, 77.5 for oats, 39.2 for canola and 39.9 for peas as a provincial average. The condition ratings for fall seeded crops are currently 63.2 per cent rated as good or excellent, as reported for South, Central and North East regions.

On a positive note, provincial soil moisture ratings are gradually improving. The average surface soil moisture is currently 74.3 rated good or excellent, with the South at 41.6 per cent and North East bringing up the average at 97.2 per cent. Sub surface soil moisture provincial average is 57.4 per cent rated as good or excellent, with the same pattern displaying low percentages for the South at 20.0 per cent and with North East higher at 86.0 per cent. The up side of the recent moisture is that it will help the pasture and hay for next year. Overall pasture ratings have improved and are currently reported as 25.6 poor, 40.3 fair, 31.2 good, and 3.0 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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