Major crops in Alberta nearly all seeded, pastures see delayed growth

Alberta Crop Report: Conditions as of May 28

Relatively good weather over the past week has resulted in good seeding progress. As of May 28, provincially about 91 per cent of major crops have been seeded, compared to 72 per cent a week ago and the 5-year average (2014-2018) of 79 per cent. Regionally, seeding progress was most advanced at 95 per cent in the Southern Region, followed by 93 per cent in the Central and 92 per cent in the North East Regions. For the North West and Peace Regions, seeding progress were at 86 and 81 per cent, respectively. With most of seeding now completed, most areas across the province are in need of moisture for germination and the active growth of pastures.

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Over the last two weeks, the western and central parts of the province received between 10 to 45 mm of accumulated rain, while the rest of the province remained dry. As a result, soil moisture reserves slightly improved in some areas, but deteriorated in others. Overall, provincial surface soil moisture is rated (sub-surface soil moisture ratings shown in brackets) at 12 (12) per cent poor, 27 (28) per cent fair, 52 (50) per cent good, 8 (10) per cent excellent, and 1 (0) per cent excessive. In terms of moisture, compared to the short and long-term normals, in general more fields across the province are in poor or fair condition.

Pasture and tame hay fields are still in need of moisture, with growth somewhat delayed. Compared to the 5-year averages, pasture and tame hay conditions have deteriorated by 23 and 14 per cent, respectively. Some livestock producers have extended winter-feeding or are providing supplementary feed to their cattle, especially, in those areas with less precipitation. Provincially, pasture growing conditions are rated as 20 (15) per cent poor, 39 (35) per cent fair, 38 (47) per cent good and 3 (3) per cent excellent.

Region One: Southern (Strathmore, Lethbridge, Medicine Hat, Foremost)

  • Most areas in the southern and western parts of the region received over 20 mm of rain over the last two weeks, but more rain is still needed. Seeding progress in this region advanced 14 per cent from last week, with 95 per cent of major crops now seeded and about 59 per cent have emerged (up 24 per cent from a week ago). Also, most cereals are in the five-leaf unfolded stage of growth.
  • About 97 per cent of spring wheat, 94 per cent of barley, 95 per cent of oats, 91 per cent of canola and 99 per cent of dry peas have been seeded.
  • The recent moisture and heat have slightly boosted pasture and tame hay growing conditions. Pasture conditions (tame hay shown in brackets) are rated as 15 (11) per cent poor, 26 (24) per cent fair, 53 (58) per cent good and 6 (7) per cent excellent.
  • Fall seeded crops are rated as 5 per cent poor, 15 per cent fair, 70 per cent good, and 10 per cent excellent.

Region Two: Central (Rimbey, Airdrie, Coronation, Oyen)

  • The western parts of the region received at least 15 mm of rain over the past week and are now in better shape. However, the region as a whole is in need of rain to promote active growth for crops and forages. For the region, about 93 per cent of major crops have now been seeded, up 19 per cent from a week ago, with 47 per cent emerged (up 24 per cent from a week earlier).
  • About 98 per cent of spring wheat, 93 per cent of barley, 80 per cent of oats and 88 per cent of canola have now been seeded. For dry peas, seeding is complete.
  • Hay and pasture growth for most areas of the region have been slow, due to cooler temperatures over the past week. Pasture conditions (tame hay shown in brackets) are now rated as 30 (26) per cent poor, 20 (18) per cent fair, 47 (53) per cent good and 3 (3) per cent excellent.
  • Fall seeded crops are rated as 6 per cent poor, 31 per cent fair, 61 per cent good and 2 per cent excellent.

Region Three: North East (Smoky Lake, Vermilion, Camrose, Provost)

  • Most areas of the region are still dry and in need of moisture, except for the south west and a small area in the west of the region, which have received at least 20 mm of rain over the last two weeks. Seeding is now 92 per cent complete, up 25 per cent from a week ago, with 49 per cent of the crops emerged (up 35 per cent from last week).
  • About 97 per cent of spring wheat, 80 per cent of barley, 71 per cent of oats, 91 per cent of canola and almost all dry peas have now been seeded.
  • Pasture conditions (tame hay shown in brackets) are now rated as 28 (24) per cent poor, 48 (49) per cent fair, 19 (24) per cent good and 5 (3) per cent excellent.
  • For fall seeded crops, conditions are reported as 3 per cent poor, 15 per cent fair, 79 per cent good and 3 per cent excellent.

Region Four: North West (Barrhead, Edmonton, Leduc, Drayton Valley, Athabasca)

  • Most areas in the region have received at least 15 mm of rain over the last two weeks, with some central areas and a small area in the east receiving at least 30 mm. Recent warm temperatures and moisture have contributed to crop germination. Seeding is now 86 per cent complete, up 21 per cent from a week ago, with 34 per cent emerged (up 32 per cent from last week).
  • About 94 per cent of spring wheat, 77 per cent of barley, 73 per cent of oats, 83 per cent of canola and 100 per cent of dry peas have now been seeded.
  • Pasture conditions (tame hay shown in brackets) are rated as 16 (6) per cent poor, 57 (41) per cent fair and 27 (53) per cent good.

Region Five: Peace River (Fairview, Falher, Grande Prairie, Valleyview)

  • The entire region is in need of moisture, although a small area in the south east received about 15-25 mm of rain over the previous week. Seeding for the region is now reported at 81 per cent complete, an increase of 15 per cent from a week ago, with about 22 per cent emerged (up 15 per cent from last week).
  • About 84 per cent of spring wheat, 68 per cent of barley, 70 per cent of oats, 77 per cent of canola and 93 per cent of dry peas have now been seeded.
  • Pasture conditions (tame hay shown in brackets) are rated as 7 (6) per cent poor, 48 (47) per cent fair, 42 (44) per cent good and 3 (3) per cent excellent.

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