Harvest is in its final stages. Producers were able to take advantage of warm, mostly dry conditions this past week to raise the completion percentage to 96.3 per cent. Dry beans and potatoes are virtually completed and only 15 per cent of the sugar beet crop remains to be dug. What remains outstanding is principally canola requiring additional time to cure due to second growth. Producers in the eastern portion of the Central region have been slowed, as they are having difficulty in getting their crops to dry down. Isolated showers in the Edmonton area may cause some completion delays.
Provincial yields continue to move higher with the provincial yield index rising to 88.3 per cent of the 5 year average. Yield averages for canola and durum wheat have improved by more than a bushel per acre with spring wheat rising by one-half bushel. Provincial spring wheat yields are reported at 86 per cent of their 5 year average with barley at 89 per cent and canola at 92 per cent. Field peas have shown the largest yield declines amongst the major crops in most regions averaging 80 per cent of their 5 year average. Crop quality is reported to be similar to 5 and 10 year averages. The exceptions are durum wheat where quality is above long term averages at 80 per cent in the top 2 grades compared to 70 per cent. Oats are the opposite with 58 per cent in the top 2 grades this year versus the longer term averages of 80 per cent.
Crop condition ratings for the newly seeded fall seeded crops showed a slight improvement to 66 per cent rated good or excellent. Pastures have enjoyed a long fall season with many looking better now than they have all year.
Soil moisture remains a concern for next year. 55 per cent of the province is rating surface moisture as good or excellent. 49 per cent of the province is rated good or excellent for sub soil moisture. The North West region, which was the epicenter of this year’s dry conditions, remains very dry with 55 per cent of the region rated poor for sub soil moisture.