Crop Conditions as of May 1, 2018

 
 
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Crop Conditions as of May 1, 2018

A late spring has delayed seeding in all regions. Daily average temperatures in the first half of April were 8-10 degrees below long term normals postponing snow melt. Warm temperatures during the second half of the month has melted all the snow though soil dry down and warming have been negatively impacted by the late disappearance. Seeding could be further delayed if producers wait for the first weed flush to occur. To date, less than 1% of crops have been seeded with a small number of acres completed in the South and Central regions (See Table 1). Seeding progress is the worst since 2011 when only 0.1% of the province was completed. That year, 90% of crops were seeded by June 2.

Hay and pasture crops have been slow to initiate growth due to delays in thawing of the frost layer. Only 46% of hay and pastures are rated in good or excellent condition. The delays continue to force cattle producers to feed their livestock, drawing down further on tight supplies which had been negatively affected by the colder than normal winter temperatures.

Overland flooding has been an issue in many areas of the province. 73% of the province is rated good or excellent for surface soil moisture with a further 21% rated excessive (See Table 2). Soil moisture reserves are below long term averages in much of the South and Central regions, and the north portion of the Peace region (See Map).

84% of fall seeded crops are rated in good or excellent condition.



REGIONAL ASSESSMENTS:
The 2018 Alberta Crop Report Series continues to provide summaries for the following five regions:

Region One: Southern (Strathmore, Lethbridge, Medicine Hat, Foremost)

  • Average winter precipitation. Below average temperatures in February, March & first half April left more snow to melt in late April causing delayed disappearance and exacerbated overland flooding
  • Seeding approximately 10 days behind the 5 year average of 32% complete.
  • Small amount of seeding occurring in all municipalities with the exception of the NW corner (Vulcan, Wheatland, Foothills). Seeding progress rivals 2011 when only 0.2% was seeded.
  • Surface soil moisture rated 78% good/excellent; 8% rated excessive. All counties reporting excessive moisture.
  • 88% of fall seeded crops rated in good or excellent condition.
  • Drying prospects are high. Temperatures over next 7 days ranging from low to mid 20’s.
Region Two: Central (Rimbey, Airdrie, Coronation, Oyen)
  • Average to below average winter precipitation. Below average temperatures in February, March & first half April delayed snow melt into late April.
  • Small amount of seeding was reported in municipalities along the Alberta/Saskatchewan border.
  • Seeding behind the 5 year average of 8% complete.
  • Surface soil moisture rated 88% good or excellent; Less than 5% rated excessive. Excessive moisture reported principally in western portion of region @ 10% excessive.
  • Drying prospects are high. Temperatures over next 7 days ranging from high teens to lower 20’s.
Region Three: North East (Smoky Lake, Vermilion, Camrose, Provost)
  • Below average winter precipitation. Below average temperatures in February, March & first half April delayed snow melt into late April exacerbating overland flooding issues.
  • No seeding reported in any municipality. Historically, only 1-2% seeded by this date in most years.
  • Small amount of 2017 crop remains outstanding to harvest.
  • Surface soil moisture rated 61% good or excellent; remaining 39% rated excessive. Municipalities located NE of Edmonton reporting 100% excessive soil moisture. Municipalities east of Edmonton reporting 10-20%.
  • Drying prospects are high. Temperatures over next 7 days ranging from high teens to mid 20’s.
Region Four: North West (Barrhead, Edmonton, Leduc, Drayton Valley, Athabasca)
  • Average to below average winter precipitation. Below average temperatures in February, March & first half April delayed snow melt into late April exacerbating overland flooding issues.
  • No seeding reported in any municipality. Historically, less than 3% seeded by this date in most years
  • Small amount of 2017 crop remains outstanding to harvest.
  • Surface soil moisture rated 59% good or excellent; remaining 41% rated excessive. Most municipalities reporting excessive moisture at 20-30%, with a few well above that.
  • Drying prospects are high. Temperatures over next 7 days ranging from high teens to mid 20’s.
Region Five: Peace River (Fairview, Falher, Grande Prairie, Valleyview)
  • Average winter precipitation. Below average temperatures in February, March & first half April delayed snow melt into late April exacerbating overland flooding issues.
  • No seeding occurring in any municipality. In 5 of last 8 years, seeding in early May reported as 0%. In 10 of last 12 years, seeding progress was reported as less than 3%.
  • Surface soil moisture rated 71% good or excellent; 26% rated excessive. All municipalities reporting excessive moisture, lowest in north (5%), highest in south (35%). Central Peace ranges from 10-35% excessive.
  • Drying prospects are high. Temperatures over next 7 days ranging from mid teens to lower 20’s.

James Wright, Risk Analyst
Agriculture Financial Services Corporation
Pricing Unit, Research & Product Development
Lacombe, Alberta
E-mail: james.wright@afsc.ca
Phone: 403-782-8336

May 4, 2018

Note to Users: The contents of this document may not be used or reproduced without properly accrediting Alberta Agriculture and Forestry, Economics and Competitiveness Branch, Statistics and Data Development Section.
The 2018 Alberta crop reporting series is available on the Internet at: http://www1.agric.gov.ab.ca/$department/deptdocs.nsf/all/sdd4191
 
 
 
 
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For more information about the content of this document, contact Ashan Shooshtarian.
This document is maintained by Marian Elson.
This information published to the web on April 27, 2018.
Last Reviewed/Revised on May 4, 2018.