Warm spring weather seeding interrupted by frost

Alberta crop conditions as of May 17

Alberta Agriculture and Forestry – Unusually warm spring weather was interrupted by a brief frost which descended across most of the province, with the coldest temperatures occurring on May 13, 2016. Generally, the irrigated crops are looking good, dry land crops are in need of moisture and pasture and tame hay are under stress due to the dry conditions. Although warm weather contributed to seeding progress across the province, winds depleted surface soil moisture. About 75 per cent of crops across the province are seeded, compared to the 2011-2015 five-year average of 66 per cent at this time. Regionally, seeding progress (five-year average in brackets) was, for the Southern Region 87 (74) per cent, Central Region 78 (67) per cent, North East Region 63 (64) per cent, North West Region 66 (66) per cent and Peace Region 74 (51) per cent.

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Last week showers in some areas maintained soil moisture, but conditions are generally dry. Provincially, surface soil moisture declined from last week and last year. Surface soil moisture is rated (five-year average in brackets) at 34 (seven) per cent poor, 36 (23) per cent fair, 29 (48) per cent good and one (22) per cent excellent.

Pasture and hay land are challenged with the lack of moisture. Provincially, pasture conditions are reported (five-year averages in brackets) as 38 (10) per cent poor, 34 (28) per cent fair, 26 (51) per cent good, and two (11) per cent excellent. Tame hay conditions are rated (five-year averages in brackets) as 34 (eight) per cent poor, 37 (28) per cent fair, 27 (52) per cent good and two (12) per cent excellent.

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