Crop conditions decline in Alberta, recent rains offer little benefit

Alberta crop conditions as of August 8

Recent scattered rain across the province has been too light and variable to significantly improve soil moisture and crop conditions, especially in the Southern and Central Regions. Crop condition ratings declined for the Southern and Central Regions, improved for the North West and Peace Regions and remained unchanged in the North East Region from last week. Provincially, crop conditions are rated at 56 per cent in good to excellent condition, down from the 5-year average (2012-2016) of 72 per cent. In terms of crop development, spring seeded cereals across the province are mostly starting the dough development stage.

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Harvest operations have begun in the Southern and Central Regions. Approximately four per cent of crops in the province have been combined and another three per cent of them are swathed. About 66 per cent of winter wheat and 29 per cent of fall rye are already in bin, with five per cent of winter wheat and 20 per cent of fall rye in the swath. Preliminary dryland yield index declined slightly, compared to two weeks ago and is estimated at 94.7 per cent. Provincially, the dryland yield (5-year averages are in brackets) are estimated at 45.8 (47.5) bushels per acre for spring wheat, 59.6 (66.5) bushels per acre for barley, 75.0 (77.8) bushels per acre for oats and 38.4 (39.0) bushels per acre for canola.

First cut dryland hay is 97 (89) per cent complete across the province. Preliminary average provincial yield on dryland is estimated at 1.6 (1.5) tons per acre, with the quality rated at 82 (67) per cent good to excellent. Irrigated haying operations are mostly complete at 99 (99) per cent, with yield at 2.8 (2.3) tons per acre and quality rated as 92 (71) per cent good to excellent. Second cut haying operations are underway, with nine per cent of dryland and 39 per cent of irrigated land complete. The estimated yield for second cut hay is reported 1.5 (1.0) tons per acre for dryland and 2.6 (1.8) tons per acre for irrigated lands with quality rated at 86 (74) per cent good to excellent in dryland and 93 (92) per cent in irrigated.

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

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