Rain, snow continue to mess with harvest, now well behind five-year average

Alberta crop conditions as of September 18, 2018

Cold, wet weather has been the norm the past several days in almost all areas of the province, halting harvest progress. In addition to the rain/snow mix, frost has been highly variable. Alberta’s harvest as a whole is down 23.4 points over last year at this time for binned crops. With the exception of North West region, provincial harvest delay as compared to last year, has recorded the biggest differential in the Central region, followed by South and Peace with North East moderately behind. The five year index displays all regions behind an average of 19.6 points for crops harvested, with current year at 32.6 per cent combined. Preliminary grades on harvested crops are projected to be over 75 per cent for cereals, and 88 per cent of peas, in the top two grades, while it’s still too early for canola projections. Given the recent and ongoing cold wet weather, the quality of cereals may be reduced for acres still out in the field. Conversely green counts in canola may actually see a benefit.

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Expected yields are aligned with the 10 year index for the province. As anticipated, the south region is significantly below normal at 75 per cent of the 10 year yield index, however this is somewhat offset by Peace region at 131 per cent of the 10 year index. The remaining three regions are all marginally above as compared to the past 10 year yields.

With recent precipitation, soil moisture ratings have continued to improve. Surface soil moisture is currently rated as 45.8 per cent good, 19.0 per cent excellent and excessive is 2.2 per cent. Sub-surface soil moisture is 35.6 per cent good, 15.8 per cent excellent and 1.5 per cent excessive provincially. These soil moisture reserves will be favourable going into winter, and also are reflective of the fall seeded crop conditions currently appraised at 9.8 per cent excellent, 67.3 per cent good, 19.6 per cent fair and only 3.3 per cent poor.

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

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