Crop Conditions as of September 22, 2015
Wet weather conditions caused some interruptions with harvest operations over the last week. Most of the province received less than 5 mm of rain. Some areas received well over 5 mm and other areas up to 15-20 mm of rain.
Provincially, about 27 per cent of the crops remain standing, 27 per cent are swathed, and 46 per cent are harvested (up nine per cent from last week). Rainfall over the past two weeks has slowed down harvesting operations across the province. Compared to this time last year, harvest progress is behind in the Central, North East, North West and Peace Regions -- down six per cent provincially. Harvesting in the South Region is 17 per cent ahead compared to last year. Warmer temperatures are required to help advance harvesting operations.
Yield estimates continue to improve in all regions as more harvest information becomes available (See Table 2). Since August 25, 2015, provincial yields of spring wheat have increased by 2.6 bushels per acre, winter wheat is up 2.5 bushels, barley is up 4.5 bushels, dry peas are up 1.2 bushels and canola is 1.9 bushels per acre higher.
Crop quality appears to be average so far. Currently, about 89 per cent of the spring wheat and 87 per cent of durum is grading 2CW or better. About 69 per cent of barley is grading 1CW, with a further 14 per cent eligible for malt quality. Over 86 per cent of the canola is grading number 1 and 76 per cent of the dry peas are expected to be food quality, number 2 or better. However, it is expected that crop quality took a hit from the wet weather experienced over the last two weeks and grades may decline as harvest progresses.
The 2015 Alberta Crop Report Series continues to provide summaries for the following five regions:
Region One: Southern (Strathmore, Lethbridge, Medicine Hat, Foremost)
Region Two: Central (Rimbey, Airdrie, Coronation, Oyen)
- Harvest was hampered by wet weather throughout the week and swathed crops will have to wait to dry before they can be combined. Cool nights and frost was reported in some areas.
- While 10 per cent of crops are still standing and 11 per cent swathed, harvest has progressed to 79 per cent combined. The cereal crop harvest is just about complete. Potato harvest is 42 per cent complete with average yields estimated at 12.0 and 18.6 tons/ac, respectively for dryland and irrigated fields. About nine per cent of canola, 13 per cent of spring wheat, eight per cent of barley and 16 per cent of oats are still standing.
- Crop quality appears to be higher than provincial averages, as 75 per cent of spring wheat and 70 per cent of durum are grading at 1CW. While 19 per cent of barley is grading for malt, 76 per cent is grading 1CW.
Region Three: North East (Smoky Lake, Vermilion, Camrose, Provost)
- Farmers are dealing with too much moisture, frosts and sprouting seeds. Quality has dropped in some areas due to wheat bleaching and cereals sprouting in the swath.
- The Central Region has 25 per cent of crops harvested and 27 per cent still in the swath. Almost 90 per cent of winter wheat, fall rye, dry peas, lentils and chick peas are combined. About 34 per cent of canola is standing, with 47 per cent swathed and 19 per cent harvested.
- While dryland yields reported in Central Region are higher than provincial averages (See Table 2) for most crops, quality is below the provincial average.
- Pasture lands are better than they have been all year, with 29 per cent rated at good to excellent.
Region Four: North West (Barrhead, Edmonton, Leduc, Drayton Valley, Athabasca)
- Rainfall over most of last week caused delays in harvesting with sprouting of cereals and canola in the swath. A killing frost on Tuesday morning was reported for some areas.
- In the North East Region, 35 per cent of crops are harvested, with 42 per cent still in the swath. About 13 per cent of canola is standing, with 74 per cent swathed and 13 per cent in the bin. Winter wheat, fall rye and dry peas harvesting is complete. Nearly 28 per cent of spring wheat, 42 per cent of barley, 48 per cent of oats and all durum, lentils, chickpeas and mustard are still standing. Yields are below the provincial average.
- Pasture conditions are reported as 30 per cent in good to excellent condition.
Region Five: Peace River (Fairview, Falher, Grande Prairie, Valleyview)
- Harvest has been at a standstill due to rain last week. Most areas in this region had only one suitable day for harvesting. About 30 per cent of crops are harvested (up two per cent from last week) and 35 per cent are in the swath.
- Swathing has continued on canola, with 63 per cent in the swath and 28 per cent standing.
- Currently, over 75 per cent and 21 per cent of spring wheat graded 1CW and 2CW, respectively. All canola and about 77 per cent of dry peas are grading number 1. Grain sprouting, due to wet conditions, was reported in some areas, which may hurt crop quality.
Alberta Agriculture and Forestry
- Cool wet weather conditions have slowed down harvesting progress and some frosty mornings were reported. Yields reported in the Peace Region are below the provincial average.
- The Peace Region reported 48 per cent harvested and 26 per cent swathed for all crops.
- About 14 per cent of canola is still standing, with 46 per cent swathed and 40 per cent combined. About 55 per cent of spring wheat, 41 per cent of barley, 38 per cent of oats and 96 per cent of dry peas are combined.
- Pasture conditions improved to 12 per cent good to excellent, up one per cent from last week.
Ashan Shooshtarian, Crop Statistician
Economics and Competitiveness Division
Statistics and Data Development Branch
September 25, 2015
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The 2015 Alberta crop reporting series is available on the Internet at: http://www1.agric.gov.ab.ca/$department/deptdocs.nsf/all/sdd4191