Cool temps make for a slow start to seeding in Alberta

Alberta crop conditions as of May 2

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Seeding is off to a slow start due to the cool April temperatures experienced throughout the province. In the South, soils have been slow to warm while in the remainder of the province, the cool temperatures slowed the dry down of already saturated soils caused by the wet conditions experienced last fall. Currently, six per cent of the province has been seeded compared to 21 per cent in 2016 and the five-year average of 13 per cent.

Hay and pasture conditions are rated 72 per cent good/excellent. Available moisture is very good though fields have been slow to start growth due to the cool temperatures. The warm weather of the past few days should help to get growth underway.

Excessive surface moisture is a major issue across the northern tier of the province which experienced the bulk of the wet conditions last fall. A significant period of dry, warm weather is needed to allow soils to dry sufficiently to support the weight of harvesting and seeding equipment. The current forecast is favourable with warm temperatures into the weekend. Cooling temperatures and potential showers are expected over the weekend but above average warm, dry weather is forecasted to return for next week.

Producers have made little progress on the harvest of the overwintered 2016 crop. It is estimated that only five per cent of the unharvested crops have been taken off leaving an estimated 1.10 million acres to still be removed. Quality projections are favourable with 75 per cent of cereals having marginal to good feed value and 85 per cent of the canola grading three CAN or better.

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

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