Minimal harvest progress was made this week as cool temperatures and light to moderate precipitation affected crop dry down. Heavy frost was reported across much of the South region which had been missed previously. Harvest completion is estimated at 60 per cent in the bin, up four percentage points from last week, but falling behind the five-year average of 68 per cent for the first time this year. A further 18 per cent of crops are in the swath. Spring wheat is 63 per cent harvested, up four points on the week but lagging its five-year average of 71 per cent. Barley at 67 per cent harvested is equal to its five-year average. Oat harvest is at 35 per cent compared to the five-year average of 52 per cent, canola at 41 per cent harvested compared to its five-year average of 59 per cent while field peas are nearing completion at 96 per cent compared to an average of 98 per cent. A warm, dry weather system is needed across the northern half of the province. The problem is this weather is not in the long term forecasts.
Surface and sub soil moisture ratings are virtually unchanged this week at 55 per cent and 54 per cent good or excellent respectively. Dry soil moisture conditions in the South region continue to affect the crop condition ratings of newly seeded fall crops. Only 16 per cent of fall seeded crops in the South are rated in good or excellent condition with 71 per cent rated poor. Approximately 75 per cent of fall seeded crops in the province are grown in southern Alberta.
To date, crop quality has been very good and maybe a little better than anticipated. It is expected that the quality of crops remaining to be harvested will be negatively impacted by the harvest delays currently being experienced.