Dry weather stalls crop growth, pastures well below five-year average

Alberta Crop Report: Conditions as of June 4

The recent warm weather helped with both seeding and crop emergence. In terms of seeding progress, producers are five points ahead of the five year average of 94 and are currently sitting at over 99 per cent complete. Across the province emergence average is now at 72 which is also higher than the five year average of 65 per cent. Along with the heat much of the province experienced drying winds. The combination of the two have affected soil moisture and temporarily stalled growth.

Pasture growth for the province rated as good is 35 per cent as compared to the five year average of 51. The same comparison for tame hay growth is 41 per cent versus 51. Although forage advancement needs rain to improve, some grasses have started to head out and will see little benefit from moisture at this point.

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The current ratings are relative to the amount of precipitation received across the province with little improvement expected as forecasted rainfall is limited to the highway 2 corridor and the east portion of central Alberta for June 7th. Portions of the west side of the province’s accumulated precipitation is near normal while bordering areas are moderately low. Considerable segments of the South, Central, North East and Peace are well below average as compared to the long term normal.

Surface soil ratings have deteriorated. Poor ratings are now at 23 over last week’s 12 per cent, fair ratings moved moderately to 29 from 26, good ratings have seen a drop to 44 over 52, and excellent ratings have dipped to 5 down from 8 per cent.

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

  • Forecast does not include rain for the next few days.
  • Crop staging on spring seeded cereals is approaching early tillering of Zadocs staging, fall seeded cereals are in late stem elongation, the majority of dry peas are in or passed the one to three node stage, while over half of
    seeded canola has now reached one to three leaf stage.
  • Irrigation application is well underway with restrictions is some areas.
  • Pests are becoming more prevalent. Some areas have reported a moderate infestation of flea beetles, army
    cutworms and gophers.
  • Pasture and tame hay are starting to show signs of heat stress which may impact yield potential in many areas of the region. Rain is needed to sustain growth; 51 per cent of pasture and 63 of tame hay rated as good and excellent.

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

  • The predicted rainfall is limited to Friday June 7th.
  • Crop staging on spring seeded cereals are still in the seedling growth Zadocs stage with the exception of
    durum which is mid-tillering stage, fall seeded cereals are in late stem elongation, the majority of dry peas are
    in or passed the one to three node stage, while two thirds of seeded canola has now reached one to three leaf.
  • Pests are becoming more prevalent. Some areas have reported a moderate infestation of flea beetles, army
    cutworms, wireworms and gophers.
  • Pasture and tame hay are suffering in most areas of the region. Rain is needed to support continued growth; 36 per cent of pasture and 47 of tame hay rated as good and excellent. There are reports of grass heading out in the eastern portion of the region.

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

  • The anticipated rainfall is limited to Friday June 7th.
  • Crop staging on spring seeded cereals is in the early to mid-seedling Zadocs stage, fall seeded cereals are
    nearing head emergence, well over half of seeded dry peas are in the one to three node stage and almost half
    of seeded canola has now reached the one to three leaf stage.
  • Pests are becoming more prevalent. Some areas have reported a moderate infestation of flea beetles and
    gophers.
  • Pasture and tame hay have started to wane. Rain is needed to sustain forage crops; 23 per cent of pasture and only 15 of tame hay rated as good and excellent.

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

  • Showers isolated to Friday June 7th throughout region.
  • Crop staging on spring seeded cereals is in the seedling growth Zadocs stage, the bulk of dry peas are in the
    one to three node stage, while the majority of seeded canola is still in the cotyledon stage.
  • Pests are becoming more prevalent. Some areas have reported a moderate infestation of flea beetles and
    gophers.
  • Pasture and tame hay conditions are low. Rain is needed to support continued growth; 18 per cent of pasture and only 42 of tame hay rated as good, and none as excellent.

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

  • The only showers forecasted are in the Grande Prairie area for Friday June 7th.
  • Crop staging on spring seeded cereals is in the early seedling growth Zadocs stage, the majority of dry peas
    are in the emergence stage and seeded canola is almost entirely in the cotyledon stage.
  • No insect pressure reported as of yet.
  • Pasture and tame hay conditions have dropped marginally over last week. Rain is needed to support forage crops; 45 per cent of pasture and only 46 of tame hay rated as good and excellent.

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