Wet weather continues to stall harvest, pastures, hay rate poor

Alberta crop conditions as of September 15, 2015

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Following a brief dry spell to the middle of last week, wet weather over the weekend slowed down or completely halted harvesting operations across the province. Most of the province received rain, from less than 5 mm in northern areas of Peace and North East Regions and small areas in South Region, to over 30 mm across the western portions of the Central Region and northwestern parts of the South Region.

About 96 per cent of dry peas, 74 per cent of canola, 60 per cent of spring wheat, 55 per cent of barley and 29 per cent of oats across the province are either harvested or swathed. Provincially, about 37 per cent of the crops have been harvested (up seven per cent from last week), 29 per cent are in the swath (up three per cent from the prior week) and 34 per cent remain standing (down 10 per cent from last week). When compared to last year harvest progress is ahead in the South, North East and North West Regions and 11 per cent more advanced provincially. However, recent rainfall has delayed harvesting operations across the province.

The condition of pasture and hay are still rated poor, but have improved in the South, Central and North East Regions. Provincially, only 25 per cent of pasture and 22 per cent of tame hay are rated as good to excellent. The North West Region has the lowest, with 93 per cent of pasture and hay rated as poor to fair.

With the recent wet conditions, soil moisture reserves have rebounded significantly. Provincial soil moisture ratings improved for both surface and sub-surface ratings. Provincially, surface moisture improved by about six per cent, to 60 per cent rated good to excellent. Sub-surface soil moisture improved by about 12 per cent, to 50 per cent rated good to excellent. Significant improvements in sub-surface soil moisture were reported in the South, Central and North East Regions.

Click here to read the full report complete with graphics and a breakdown by regions.

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