Harvest halted. Snow flattens crops, covers swaths

Alberta crop conditions as of October 11

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Compared to the long term normal (since 1960), most areas in Alberta experienced more snow for this time of the year than is typical. Over the past week, harvest has come to a halt due to snow flattening crops and covering swaths, followed by cold weather. It will take time for crops to dry up enough to combine. This all contributes to grade losses of both swathed and standing crops.

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Generally, harvest progress over the 2016 crop season has been slow due to the wet conditions across the province and is behind both last year and the 5-year average of 2011-2015. Provincially, about 72 per cent of crops have been harvested (up three per cent from last week), 15 per cent are in the swath (down one per cent from a week ago) and 13 per cent remain standing (down two per cent from last week). About 27 per cent of canola, 16 per cent of oats, 12 per cent of barley and seven per cent of spring wheat have been swathed, while 32 per cent of oats, 19 per cent of spring wheat, 16 per cent of barley, six per cent of canola and almost two per cent of dry peas are still standing.

With the amount of moisture received, fall seeded crops are looking good and their condition is reported at 16 per cent poor to fair and 84 per cent good to excellent. Surface soil moisture conditions (sub-surface shown in brackets) across the province are rated as 11 (18) per cent poor to fair, 47 (54) per cent good, 34 (26) per cent excellent and eight (two) per cent excessive. The high precipitation received resulted in excessive surface soil moisture in the province. Regionally, the excessive surface soil moisture is reported as less than one per cent in the South, 11 per cent in Central, five per cent in the North East, 26 per cent in the North West and 12 per cent in the Peace Region.

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

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