Commodity News Service Canada — Many regions of central Alberta saw some beneficial rainfall going into the weekend, which provided some relief to dry fields and aided crops as they head into the filling stage.
“What it’s basically going to do is help fill the crops. In some places they had up to two inches of rain which was excellent,” said Harry Brook, crop specialist at the Alberta Agriculture Info Centre.
With cereals heading out, peas in the pod stage and some canola fields starting to flower, the moisture will help make it so Alberta farmers have a crop that is harvestable.
The precipitation won’t likely increase production prospects though, as the damage has already been done to yields by recent dry conditions, Brook added.
And, not all of the dry regions in Alberta received rain, with areas such as the Peace region still looking for more moisture.
While the drought has been the main source of crop damage so far this growing season, grasshoppers have also been causing problems.
“There are people spraying. The real problem is though if you’re spraying but you’ve got grasshoppers coming in and they’re adults,” he said. “Because, how many times do you spray – you can kill the ones that are there, but because they’re adults they fly and they’ll just keep flying in if yours is the only green spot.”
Forecasts are calling for some more rain showers in the province this week, which will help alleviate drought related problems and could benefit hay and pastureland.
“The thing is with the hay land if we get some really good rains, we could get some really decent second cuts which would kind of ameliorate the shortage of hay at the moment,” Brook said.
A few inches of rain on pastureland could also bring them out of dormancy, though their peak growing period has already come and gone.