Over the past week, there were some welcome rain showers in the western parts of the province, bringing sufficient moisture to support the active growth of both annual and perennial crops. While many areas in the west of the Southern and Central Regions received at least 30 mm of rain, rainfall for the west parts of the Peace and the North West Regions ranged between 5 to 20 mm. For the North East and eastern parts of the Southern Regions precipitation was less than 1 mm.
Provincially, crop growing conditions improved by two per cent from a week ago and are now rated as 81 per cent good to excellent, compared with the 5-year average (2013-2017) of 73 per cent. About 84 per cent of spring wheat, 80 per cent of barley, 87 per cent of oats, 78 per cent of canola and 82 per cent of dry peas are in good to excellent condition.
Across the province, soil moisture reserves are variable, from dry conditions in a large part of the Southern and Central Regions to areas in the North West and Peace Regions reporting sufficient soil moisture. More moisture is still needed across the province to maintain soil moisture and the active growth for crops and forages. Over the past week, soil moisture reserves improved in the Southern Region, but deteriorated somewhat in the other regions. Provincially, surface moisture was rated as three per cent poor, 23 per cent fair, 47 per cent good, 25 per cent excellent and two per cent excessive. Sub-surface soil moisture conditions have similar ratings.
Haying has begun in the province. Provincially, pasture conditions are rated as four per cent poor, 29 per cent fair, 57 per cent good and 10 per cent excellent, with similar ratings for tame hay conditions.