Alberta Crop Conditions as of July 15, 2014

 
 
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Crop Conditions as of July 15, 2014

An extended period of warm, dry weather during the past two weeks has enhanced crop development and benefited haying operations across the entire province. Outside of spotty showers, only the North East Region received precipitation in amounts of 40 – 60 mm. Hail storms were reported in most regions with moderate to severe damage, especially in the South and Central Regions. More rain would certainly help with crop development and improve crop growing conditions; otherwise the hot weather will start affecting yield potentials.

Provincially, crop growing conditions have slipped six per cent from two weeks ago, and are now at 77 per cent good to excellent. The most noticeable declines were reported in Central Region and Peace Regions due to hot, dry weather and lack of moisture. Provincially, about 77 to 82 per cent of spring wheat, oats, barley, lentils, and dry peas, as well as 88 per cent of dry beans are in good to excellent condition. For canola, it is 74 per cent (Table 1). In terms of crop development, spring cereals are in mid head emergence stage, while canola is 80 per cent flowering.

Sub-surface soil moisture ratings declined to 68 per cent good to excellent, down 19 per cent from two weeks ago mainly due to lack of rain, especially in the North West and Central Regions. Overall, surface soil moisture is rated as five per cent poor, 26 per cent fair, 54 per cent good, 14 per cent excellent, and one per cent excessive (Table 2).

The warm, dry weather in most parts of the province has benefited haying operations. First cut dryland hay is 53 per cent completed across the province, with the Peace Region being most advanced. Average provincial yield on dryland is estimated at 1.7 tons per acre. With respect to quality, 87 per cent of the hay crop is rated as good to excellent, 11 per cent fair and two per cent poor. Tame hay and pasture growth is rated as 70 per cent good to excellent, 24 per cent fair, and six per cent poor.



Regional Assessments:
The 2014 Alberta Crop Report Series provides summaries for the following five regions:

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

  • The warm, dry weather during the last two weeks have advanced crops rapidly and benefited haying operations. Hailstorms were reported in most areas with severe damage in the southern part of the region. Some areas are reporting concerns with cabbage seedpod weevil and lygus bugs in canola.
  • Sub-surface soil moisture conditions are rated as 76 per cent good to excellent.
  • First cut haying operations are underway, with 71 per cent of irrigated and 59 per cent of dryland complete. Average yields on irrigated and dryland are estimated at 2.4 tons per acre and 1.7 tons per acre, respectively. Quality is mostly 90 per cent good to excellent. Pasture conditions are reported as 77 per cent good to excellent. Similar ratings were reported for tame hay.
Region Two: Central (Rimbey, Airdrie, Coronation, Oyen)
  • Hot, dry weather is starting to make an impact on crops as they are shallow rooted and could use more moisture. Hailstorms were reported in some regions with moderate damage in Stettler and Lacombe Counties. Some areas are reporting a few concerns with flea beetles, gophers and root maggots.
  • The good to excellent sub-surface soil moisture conditions have decreased over the last two weeks by 28 per cent and are now rated as 56 per cent good to excellent. Producers would benefit from more precipitation to help with crop development.
  • First cut haying operations are 25 per cent complete on irrigated land and 42 per cent complete on dryland. Average yield on irrigated is estimated at 2.3 tons per acre, while dryland is 1.8 tons per acre. Quality is rated as 90 good to excellent for irrigated hay and 81 per cent for dryland. Pasture conditions are reported as 63 per cent good to excellent, with similar ratings reported for tame hay.
Region Three: North East (Smoky Lake, Vermilion, Camrose, Provost)
  • Both, warm, dry weather and a mix of precipitation during the past two weeks have helped to advance crop development and benefited haying operations. Regionally, about 89 to 91 per cent of spring wheat, barley, oats and dry peas and 87 per cent of canola are in good to excellent condition.
  • Overall, sub-surface soil moisture ratings improved to 96 per cent good to excellent, up two per cent from two weeks ago. Some areas are reporting moderate problems/concerns with root maggots.
  • First cut haying operations are underway, with 32 per cent of dryland complete. Average yield is estimated at 1.6 tons per acre. Quality is rated 93 per cent good to excellent. Pasture conditions are reported as 89 per cent good to excellent, with similar ratings reported for tame hay.
Region Four: North West (Barrhead, Edmonton, Leduc, Drayton Valley, Athabasca)
  • An extended period of warm, dry weather during the past two weeks has enhanced crop development and benefited haying operations. However, the high temperatures are starting to cause concern with flower blast in blooming canola crops.
  • Sub-surface moisture is rated as 50 per cent good to excellent, down 47 per cent from two weeks ago. More rain would certainly help with crop development and improve yields.
  • First cut haying operations are underway, with 51 per cent of dryland complete. Average yield is estimated at 2.0 tons per acre. Quality is rated 94 per cent good to excellent. Pasture conditions are reported as 66 per cent good to excellent, with the same ratings reported for tame hay.
Region Five: Peace River (Fairview, Falher, Grande Prairie, Valleyview)
  • Hot, dry weather and a few spotty showers during the past two weeks are helping to advance crop development. The heat and lack of moisture is starting to affect potential yields in some areas. Root maggots are becoming a concern in some areas.
  • Sub-surface soil moisture levels declined 16 per cent from two weeks ago and are rated at 68 per cent good to excellent. Much needed rain would certainly improve crop growing conditions and help with crop development.
  • First cut dryland haying operations are 80 per cent complete. Average yield is estimated at 1.4 tons per acre. Quality is rated 76 per cent good to excellent. Pasture conditions are reported as 59 per cent good to excellent, with similar ratings reported for tame hay.
Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development
Economics and Competitiveness Division
Statistics and Data Development Branch
Lukas Matejovsky, Crop Statistician
E-mail: lukas.matejovsky@gov.ab.ca
Phone: 780-422-2887
July 18, 2014

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 July 18, 2014.