Alberta producers were able to make good harvest progress this past week with the South region showing the greatest advancement. Thick smoke haze in the atmosphere reduced temperatures and slowed drying across much of the province. High winds in southern Alberta helped to dry crops but also caused damage by blowing swaths and breaking heads. Harvest progress is estimated at 21 per cent combined/19 per cent swathed, approximately 1 week ahead of the longer term average. 37 per cent of the canola, 13 per cent of the barley and 10 per cent of the spring wheat have been swathed. In 2014, harvest progress was 13 per cent combined/26 per cent swathed.
With minimal precipitation activity this week, soil moisture ratings declined or were unchanged. Provincial surface soil moisture ratings declined 4 percentage points to 35 per cent rated good or excellent. The percentage of the province rated poor increased by 2 points to 24 per cent. The Central region recorded the largest decline, down 14 points. Provincial subsoil moisture ratings declined 3 points to 32 per cent rated good or excellent. The percentage rated poor increased 1 point to 25 per cent. Again, the Central region showed the largest decline, down 8 points.
Hay and pastures rated good or excellent declined 2 percentage points since last report to 17 per cent of the province. The portion rated poor was unchanged at 42 per cent. Growth is declining as the end of the growing season approaches.