Crop Conditions as of May 21, 2013

 
 
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Weather conditions in the province during the last two weeks have been mainly warm, windy and dry, although some isolated light precipitation has been reported in a few areas. This has helped producers to make significant seeding progress during the past two weeks. As of May 21, nearly 66 per cent of the province has been seeded, compared to three per cent two weeks ago. This is on par with the 5-year average. Seeding is most advanced in South Region, with close to 88 per cent completed, followed by the Central Region (over 69 per cent), North West Region (56 per cent), North East Region (52 per cent), and Peace Region (43 per cent) - see Table 1.

Soil moisture conditions vary across the province. Provincially, surface soil moisture is rated as five per cent poor, 20 per cent fair, 47 per cent good, 25 per cent excellent, and three per cent excessive (see Table 2). Sub-surface moisture is rated as three per cent poor, 19 per cent fair, 46 per cent good, 31 per cent excellent, and one per cent excessive.

Warm, windy conditions, coupled with the lack of rainfall, have depleted much of the surface soil moisture in some areas of the province, particularly in the Northern, Central and Southern Regions. These areas will need rain in the upcoming week. However, on the flip side, dry conditions have been beneficial for producers in the northern part of the province who were experiencing wet conditions early in the season.

Tame hay and pasture are showing good growth in most areas of the province. Provincially, pasture conditions are reported as three per cent poor, 21 per cent fair, 50 per cent good, and 26 per cent excellent, while tame hay growth is rated as three per cent poor, 20 per cent fair, 50 per cent good, and 27 per cent excellent.




Our thanks to Alberta Agricultural Fieldmen, staff of AFSC and the Alberta Ag-Info Centre for their partnership and contribution to the Alberta Crop Reporting Program.
The precipitation map is compiled by Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development, Environmental Stewardship Division, Technology and Innovation Branch

REGIONAL ASSESSMENTS:
The 2013 Alberta Crop Report Series continues to provide summaries for the following five regions:

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

  • With recent warm, dry weather, seeding has progressed rapidly during the last 7-10 days, and now stands at 88 per cent complete. This compares to nine per cent two weeks ago, and the 5-year average of 75 per cent. Early seeded crops are beginning to emerge. Seeding progress is estimated at 85-90 per cent complete for spring wheat, barley, canola, mustard and lentils. Due to heavy winds over the long weekend (May 18-20) re-seeding in some fields, such as sugar beets, has occurred.
  • Due to the warm, dry weather, soil moisture conditions have dropped from previous week and are reported as 16 per cent poor, 44 per cent fair, 37 per cent good and three per cent excellent. This region needs rain in the upcoming week.
  • Pasture conditions are reported as four per cent poor, 34 per cent fair, 60 per cent good, and two per cent excellent, with similar ratings reported for tame hay.
Region Two: Central (Rimbey, Airdrie, Coronation, Oyen)
  • Weather conditions during the last two weeks have been mainly warm and dry, allowing seeding to progress rapidly and catch up from previous delays. Overall, seeding is estimated at 70 per cent complete, compared to one per cent two weeks ago, and the 5-year average of 65 per cent.
  • Due to the abundant snowfall this winter and several snow/sleet storms this spring, surface moisture conditions are rated as 81 per cent good to excellent, two per cent poor, 17 per cent fair, and two per cent excessive. Producers are benefiting from the recent dry and warm weather. There was some light precipitation in the eastern and western parts of the region, while the central area was dry.
  • Pasture conditions are reported as two per cent poor, 24 per cent fair, 70 per cent good, and four per cent excellent, with a similar rating reported for tame hay.
Region Three: North East (Smoky Lake, Vermilion, Camrose, Provost)
  • With the warm, dry weather during the last two weeks, seeding in the region has progressed rapidly, and now stands at 52 per cent complete. This compares to 0.1 per cent complete two weeks ago, and the 5-year average of 59 per cent. Constant windy conditions are drying out top soil in some areas. Seeding progress for some of the major crops is estimated at 82 per cent for dry peas, 64 per cent for spring wheat, 52 per cent for canola, and 30 per cent for barley.
  • Overall, surface moisture is rated as 29 per cent fair, 53 per cent good, 15 per cent excellent, and three per cent excessive.
  • Pasture conditions are reported as 30 per cent fair, 55 per cent good, and 15 per cent excellent, with similar ratings reported for tame hay.
Region Four: North West (Barrhead, Edmonton, Leduc, Drayton Valley, Athabasca)
  • Significant seeding progress was made during the past week. Regionally, 56 per cent of the crop is now seeded, compared to zero per cent two weeks ago and the 5-year average of 66 per cent. Dry peas are 85 per cent seeded, spring wheat 72 per cent, and canola 62 per cent.
  • Isolated light precipitation reported in a few areas has had little effect and soil moisture conditions are degrading due to the warm and windy conditions.
  • Surface moisture is rated as seven per cent poor, 10 per cent fair, 54 per cent good, 22 per cent excellent, and seven per cent excessive
  • Pasture conditions are reported as 11 per cent poor, 13 per cent fair, 49 per cent good, and 27 per cent excellent, with similar rating reported for tame hay.
Region Five: Peace River (Fairview, Falher, Grande Prairie, Valleyview)
  • Warm, windy weather has helped to dry up fields and advance seeding progress. Over 43 per cent of the region has now been seeded, compared to zero per cent two weeks ago, and the 5-year average of 59 per cent.
  • Surface soil moisture levels are at one per cent fair, 22 per cent good, 73 per cent excellent and four per cent excessive.
  • Pasture conditions are reported as one per cent fair, 14 per cent good, and 85 per cent excellent, with similar ratings reported for tame hay.

Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development
Lukas Matejovsky, Crop Statistician
Economics and Competitiveness Division
E-mail: lukas.matejovsky@gov.ab.ca
Statistics and Data Development Branch
Phone: 780-422-2887
May 24, 2013

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This information published to the web on May 24, 2013.