Crop Conditions as of October 4, 2013

 
 
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In general, over the past two weeks, crop harvest has continued to progress, although the recent damp and cool weather caused delays in some areas. While harvest in the South and Central Regions is progressing well, the North East, North West and Peace Regions could benefit from a few more days of warm, dry weather to finish getting the crop in the bin.

Provincially, 90 per cent of the crop has been harvested, compared to 71 per cent two weeks ago, while seven per cent is still in swath, and three per cent remain standing (see Table 1). Harvest in the Southern Region is nearly complete, with 98 per cent of crops combined and one per cent in swath. The Central Region has 94 per cent of crops combined and four per cent in swath. In the North East Region, 86 per cent of crops have been harvested, with 11 per cent in swath, while the North West Region reported 81 per cent harvested and 14 per cent in swath. The Peace Region reported 83 per cent harvested and 10 per cent in swath.

Overall, provincial average yields are estimated to be 20 per cent above their five-year averages (see Table 2). The dry weather in September permitted above average crop quality with 93 per cent of the spring wheat, 95 per cent of the barley, 94 per cent of the oats and 97 per cent of the canola falling in the top two grades. However, there have been reports in some areas of ergot contamination on wheat, oats, barley and triticale due to cool and wet conditions in early spring.

In the province, about 85 per cent of dryland hay production came from first cut, with 15 per cent from second cut. The quality of first and second cut hay was mostly rated as good to excellent. Areas with irrigated hay production had about 60 per cent from first cut, 39 per cent from second cut and one per cent from third cut, with quality largely rated as good to 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)
  • Overall, 98 per cent of crops are in the bin, with one per cent in swath and one per cent still standing. Average yields for major crops are estimated to be around 15 per cent above the five-year average, while quality is good. Potatoes and dry beans are nearly complete, at 90 per cent and 96 per cent harvested, respectively. However, only 19 per cent of sugar beets have been harvested.
  • First cut hay accounted for 97 per cent of dryland hay production, with the remaining three per cent from second cut hay operations. About 59 per cent of irrigated hay production came from first cut, 40 per cent from second cut and one per cent from third cut. Pastures are rated 47 per cent as good to excellent condition.
  • Surface soil moisture conditions have declined by six per cent from two weeks ago to 47 per cent of the region rated good to excellent.
Region Two: Central (Rimbey, Airdrie, Coronation, Oyen)
  • About 94 per cent of crops are in the bin, with four per cent in swath, and two per cent still standing. Yields for major crops are estimated to be 23 per cent above the five-year average, while quality is good. Potatoes are nearly complete at 90 per cent harvested and 10 per cent standing. Some parts of the region have been impacted by rainfall and cool weather over the past two weeks.
  • About 85 per cent of dryland hay production came from first cut and was rated as 63 per cent good to excellent quality. Pastures are rated as 50 per cent good to excellent condition.
  • Surface soil moisture conditions have improved by 21 per cent to 63 per cent of the region rated good to excellent.
Region Three: North East (Smoky Lake, Vermilion, Camrose, Provost)
  • Over the past two weeks, harvest progress has been slow due to rain showers. Overall, 86 per cent of crops are in the bin, with 11 per cent in swath and three per cent still standing. About 81 per cent of canola is combined, with 18 per cent in swath and one per cent still standing. Yields for major crops are estimated to be about 17 per cent above the five-year average, while quality is good.
  • About 70 per cent of hay production came from first cut and was rated as 63 per cent good to excellent, while second cut was rated as 78 per cent good to excellent. Pasture is rated at 12 per cent poor, 46 per cent fair and 42 per cent in the good to excellent range.
  • Surface soil moisture conditions have improved by two per cent to 64 per cent of the region rated good to excellent.
Region Four: North West (Barrhead, Edmonton, Leduc, Drayton Valley, Athabasca)
  • Harvest had been progressing very well in the region until some recent wet weather. Warm, dry weather would be beneficial for completion of harvest. About 81 per cent of crops are in the bin with 14 per cent in swath and five per cent still standing. For canola, 74 per cent is harvested and another 25 per cent is in swath, with one per cent still standing. Overall, estimated crop yields are about 18 per cent above the five-year average, while quality is good.
  • About 71 per cent of hay production came from first cut, with quality rated as 55 per cent poor, 22 per cent fair and 23 per cent good to excellent. However, 84 per cent of second cut hay is rated as good to excellent. Pasture is rated as 14 per cent poor, 64 per cent fair and 22 per cent good to excellent.
  • Surface soil moisture conditions declined by four per cent to 40 per cent of the region rated as good to excellent.
Region Five: Peace River (Fairview, Falher, Grande Prairie, Valleyview)
  • Recent cool and wet weather has slowed or halted harvest progress in some areas. An extended period of warm, dry weather is needed to complete harvest. About 83 per cent of crops are harvested, with 10 per cent in swath and seven per cent still standing. For canola, 79 per cent is in swath, while 20 per cent is harvested and one per cent still standing. Overall, average yields are estimated to be about 26 per cent above the five-year average, while quality is good.
  • Virtually 100 per cent of hay production came from first cut, with quality rated as 67 per cent in the good to excellent range.
  • Overall, surface moisture conditions improved by four per cent to 98 per cent of the region rated as good to excellent.
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
October 9, 2013

Note to Users: The contents of this document may not be used or reproduced without properly accrediting Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development, Economics and Competitiveness Division, Statistics and Data Development Branch.

 
 
 
 
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This information published to the web on October 9, 2013.