Seeding makes good progress, surface soil moisture levels declining

Alberta crop conditions as of May 22, 2018

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Warm and dry weather over the past week provided favourable conditions for seeding operations in most of the province. Provincially, seeding progress has increased 30 per cent from a week ago, to 67 per cent complete, compared to the 5-year average (2013-2017) of 83 per cent. Regionally, seeding progress is most advanced in the Southern Region at 77 per cent, followed by the Central Region at 69 per cent, both the North East and North West Regions are at 63 per cent and the Peace Region is at 60 per cent. About 19 per cent of crops across the province have now emerged.

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Pasture, tame hay fields and fall seeded crops also benefited from the warm temperatures. Pasture and tame hay growing conditions have improved from last week for all regions. Provincially, pasture conditions (tame hay conditions are in brackets) are reported as three (one) per cent poor, 23 (24) per cent fair, 68 (69) per cent good and six (six) per cent excellent. Fall seeded crops conditions are rated as three per cent poor, 22 per cent fair, 65 per cent good and 10 per cent excellent.

Warm temperatures and windy conditions, on the other hand have reduced surface soil moisture in some areas, especially in the Southern and Peace Regions (see map). Excessive soil moisture levels have declined for all regions, with the North East and North West Regions falling the most. Provincially, surface soil moisture (sub-surface soil moisture ratings shown in brackets) is rated at five (five) per cent poor, 22 (18) per cent fair, 42 (43) per cent good and 27 (32) per cent excellent, with four (two) per cent excessive.

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

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