Crop Conditions as of September 10, 2013

 
 
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The excellent weather experienced across the province during the past two weeks has advanced crop maturity and allowed harvest to progress, despite some rainfall, especially in the South, Central and North East Regions. Provincially, 19 per cent of the 2013 crop has been harvested, compared about three per cent two weeks ago (see Table 1). Most years, harvest is at 25 to 30 per cent completed at this time. Harvest in the Southern Region is the most advanced, with 44 per cent of crops combined followed by the Central Region at 19 per cent. Elsewhere in the province, with crop maturity a week behind normal, harvest has just started. In the Peace Region 13 per cent of crops have been harvested, while the North East Region reports eight per cent harvested, and the North West Region reports five per cent harvested.

Overall, provincial average yields are estimated to be above their 10-year averages, with good quality. For the majority of crops still standing, quality will largely depend on receiving warm, dry weather, without a killing frost, over the next few weeks.

Harvest of second cut hay is estimated to be 59 per cent complete on dryland, and 88 per cent complete under irrigation. The cool, wet spring and rainy summer generally delayed haying operations across the province. While hay yields are above to their 10-year averages, quality is average or below average, since much of the first cut hay was either rained on, or cut late and over mature. Pasture conditions in the province are rated as nine per cent poor, 19 per cent fair, 54 per cent good and 18 per cent excellent.

Provincially, sub-surface soil moisture conditions are rated at 74 per cent good to excellent, compared to 77 per cent on August 27 (see Table 2).


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)
  • During the past two weeks, weather conditions have been hot and dry with some precipitation on September 6 and 7. Overall, about 44 per cent of cereals are in the bin, compared to 10 per cent two weeks ago. About 20 per cent of canola is still standing, with 42 per cent swathed and 38 per cent in the bin. Potatoes are mostly still standing, dry beans are 26 per cent harvested. The sugar beet harvest has not yet begun.
  • Second cut hay operations are virtually complete on dryland and 91 per cent complete on irrigated land with the majority of hay rated 90 per cent as good to excellent quality, and yields are about average. Pastures are in generally fair to excellent condition.
  • Surface moisture is rated at 29 per cent poor, 25 per cent fair, and 46 per cent in the good to excellent range. Sub-surface moisture is rated at 20 per cent poor, 33 per cent fair, and 47 per cent in the good to excellent range.
Region Two: Central (Rimbey, Airdrie, Coronation, Oyen)
  • The warm weather experienced over the region during past two weeks has helped advance crop maturity and allow harvest to progress. Rain showers on September 6 and 7 temporary slowed harvest down in some areas. Overall, nearly 19 per cent of the crop is already in the bin, compared to three percent two weeks ago. About 16 per cent of canola has been combined, with 44 per cent in swath and 40 per cent standing. Yields for major crops are estimated to be above average.
  • About 71 per cent of dryland and 60 per cent of irrigated hay has been harvested. Hay yields are generally about average, with quality rated at 65 per cent good to excellent.
  • Pasture and tame hay growth conditions are reported about 70 per cent good to excellent condition.
Region Three: North East (Smoky Lake, Vermilion, Camrose, Provost)
  • Warm weather over the last two weeks with some precipitation on September 6 and 7 has helped advance crop development. Overall, about eight per cent of cereal crops are harvested, compared to less than one percent two weeks ago. About four per cent of canola has been combined, with 68 per cent in swath and 28 per cent standing. More than nine per cent of wheat is in the bin. Yields for major crops are estimated to be above average, with good quality.
  • Second cut hay operations are nearly 53 per cent complete with 79 per cent of hay rated as good to excellent quality, and yields are about average. Pasture and tame hay are rated as 70 per cent and 74 per cent in good to excellent condition, respectively.
  • Surface moisture is rated at two per cent poor, 14 per cent fair, 83 per cent in good to excellent range and one percent excessive. Sub-surface moisture is rated at one per cent poor, 19 per cent fair, and 80 per cent in the good to excellent range.
Region Four: North West (Barrhead, Edmonton, Leduc, Drayton Valley, Athabasca)
  • The warm, dry weather conditions during the last two weeks have been favorable for crop development and harvest operations. Over five per cent of the crop is already in the bin, compared to less than one per cent two weeks ago. About 39 per cent of canola is standing, with 59 per cent swathed and two per cent in the bin. Overall, crop yields are estimated above their 10-year averages.
  • About half of the region has completed second cut hay, which is estimated at 78 per cent of good to excellent quality. Pasture and tame hay growth conditions are reported as 58 per cent and 65 per cent in good to excellent condition, respectively.
  • Surface and sub-surface moisture conditions are rated as good to excellent at 73 per cent and 76 per cent, respectively.
Region Five: Peace River (Fairview, Falher, Grande Prairie, Valleyview)
  • The recent hot, dry weather conditions have helped advance crop maturity and allowed harvest to progress rapidly. Overall, about 13 per cent of the crop has now been combined, compared to one per cent two weeks ago. About 16 per cent of canola is standing, with 79 per cent swathed and five per cent in the bin. Yields are estimated to be average or above average.
  • Harvest of second cut hay is about 85 per cent completed, with average yields and 50 per cent in good to excellent quality. Pasture and tame hay growth conditions are rated as 98 and 100 per cent good to excellent condition, respectively.
  • Surface and sub-surface moisture conditions are rated as good to excellent at 93 per cent and 99 per cent, respectively.
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
September 13, 2013

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This information published to the web on September 13, 2013.