Rain hinders seeding progress, slows harvest of over-wintered crops

Alberta crop conditions as of May 16

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Over the last week, another major weather system swept across the province, bringing more rain (10-50 mm) to the Regions. Affected areas that are currently too wet are experiencing delays in seeding progress, as well as in the harvesting of overwintered crops. However, in the Southern and Central Regions, the weather has cooperated, allowing for crop seeding to advance. As of May 16, about 31 per cent of crops across the province have been seeded, compared to the five-year average (2012-2016) of 65 per cent at this time. Regionally, seeding progress is most advanced in the Southern Region at 64 per cent, followed by the Central Region with 33 per cent, North East Region at eight per cent, North West Region at five per cent and Peace Region at 18 per cent.

About 61 per cent of 2016 unharvested crops have now been taken off the fields (up 30 per cent from last week), with approximately 460,000 acres still remaining. Compared to May 2, currently, 13 per cent of unharvested crops are in the Central Region, 39 per cent in the North East, 67 per cent in the North West and 29 per cent in the Peace.

Soil moisture reserves in the North East, North West and Peace Regions have increased significantly, with about 70 per cent of agricultural lands in these Regions experiencing high soil moisture, which occurs on average less than once in 50 years. Provincially, surface soil moisture is rated at four (six) per cent fair, 29 (28) per cent good, 47 (49) per cent excellent, and 20 (17) per cent excessive. Pasture conditions (tame hay conditions are in brackets) across the province are reported as 12 (12) per cent fair, 67 (68) per cent good, and 21 (20) per cent excellent. Fall seeded crops conditions are rated as eight per cent fair, 67 per cent good and 25 per cent excellent.

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

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