Cool, wet weather continues to slow harvest

Alberta crop conditions as of November 1

Although the province did not receive much precipitation over the last week, continued cool, wet weather conditions were enough to slow down harvest progress. Provincially, about 76 per cent of crops are in the bin, 14 per cent swathed and 10 per cent still standing. Producers in the Southern, Central and North East Regions were able to make some marginal progress over the past week, while harvest was at a standstill in the North West and Peace Regions. Excessive surface soil moisture has made it difficult for producers to get to their fields. Regionally, excessive surface soil moisture was less than one per cent in the South, six per cent in Central, 25 per cent in the North East, 53 per cent in the North West and 26 per cent in the Peace Region. However, with promising weather this week, producers are hoping to resume their harvesting operations.

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The preliminary dryland yield index for the province declined slightly again, but still remained 13.5 per cent above the 5-year average. Average yields for potatoes are estimated at 13.2 and 19.1 tons per acre, respectively, on dryland and irrigated fields. Irrigated yields for dry beans and sugar beets are reported at 2,480 pounds per acre and 27.3 tonnes per acre, respectively.

Provincially, crop quality deterioration continues due to the challenging wet harvest season and is below the 5 and 10-year averages for all crops, except malt barley and canola number 1 which are higher, and dry peas which is in line with the averages. About 71 per cent of hard red spring wheat is now graded in the top two grades, down seven per cent from the 5-year average. About 55 per cent of durum wheat has graded number 2 or better, down 22 per cent from the 5-year average. About 22 per cent of barley is eligible for malt (up four per cent from the 5-year average) and 63 per cent is graded as number 1 (down four per cent from the 5-year average). About 62 per cent of oats is graded in the top two grades, down 16 per cent from the 5-year average. Almost 93 per cent of harvested canola is in the top two grades (in line with the 5-year average), with 83 per cent graded as number 1 (up two per cent from the 5-year average).

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

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