Crop Conditions as of October 18, 2016

 
 
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Crop Conditions as of October 18, 2016

Fields in the North West, North East and Peace Regions as well as some areas in the Central Region received some more snow over the past weekend (see the map). Consequently, harvesting operations were practically at a standstill, changing less than one per cent provincially from last week with about 73 per cent of the crops now in the bin (see Table 1). Snow, frost and the cool wet conditions have impacted both yield and quality for crops left in the fields. Even so, producers are still hoping to complete their harvest in the next two weeks, weather permitting. Excessive surface soil moisture remains a challenge for producers. Regionally, the excessive surface soil moisture is reported as less than one per cent in the South, seven per cent in Central, five per cent in the North East, 35 per cent in the North West and 15 per cent in the Peace Region.

Preliminary dryland yield estimates declined slightly in almost all Region and for the province as a whole, but still remained similar to two weeks ago, with the provincial yield index up 13.7 index points from the 5-year average (see Table 2). Average yields for potatoes are estimated at 13.1 and 18.8 tons per acre, respectively, on dryland and irrigated fields. Irrigated yields for dry beans and sugar beets are reported at 2,420 pounds per acre and 24.5 tonnes per acre, respectively.

Provincially, crop quality deterioration continues due to the challenging wet harvest season. About 76% of hard red spring wheat is now graded in the top two grades, down two per cent from the 5-year average and in the line with the 10-year average. Most of the decline has been reported for Canada number 1 hard red spring which is now at 32 per cent (compared to 49 per cent of the provincial 5-year average). About 70 per cent of durum wheat has graded number 2 or better, down nine and eight per cent from the provincial 5-year and 10-year averages, respectively. Again, most of the decline is due to Canada number 1 dropping to 36 per cent, down 19 and 21 per cent from the provincial 5-year and 10-year averages, respectively. While 19 per cent of barley is eligible for malt (up eight per cent from the provincial 5-year average), 67 per cent of barley is graded as number 1 (up one per cent from the provincial 5-year average). About 77 per cent of oats is graded in the top two grades, down one and two per cent from the provincial 5-year and 10-year averages. Almost 96 of harvested canola is in the top two grades (up three and five per cent from the provincial 5-year and 10-year averages), with 86 per cent graded as number 1.



REGIONAL ASSESSMENTS:
The 2016 Alberta Crop Report Series continues to provide summaries for the following five regions:

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

  • Harvest operations have slowed down significantly due to cool wet weather. Corn silaging is taking place in some fields and some lodging reported due to wind and snow. Quality of the remaining crops is being impacted.
  • With 92 per cent of the crops in the Region are already in the bin, crop quality for malt barley, the top two grades of hard red spring, oats, canola and dry peas are above the provincial 5-year average. Nearly five per cent of crops are in swath and three percent still standing.
  • About 93 per cent of potatoes have been harvested, with yields at 13.0 and 19.0 tons per acre for dryland and irrigated fields, respectively. Nearly 99 per cent of dry beans and 52 per cent of sugar beets have been harvested on irrigated lands, with yields at 2,420 pounds per acre for dry beans and 24.5 tonnes per acre for sugar beets.
  • Surface soil moisture conditions (sub-surface shown in brackets) are rated as 23(26) per cent poor to fair, 56 (57) per cent good, 21 (17) per cent excellent.
Region Two: Central (Rimbey, Airdrie, Coronation, Oyen)
  • Harvest operations are at a standstill due to snow, while frost and rain have affected the quality of crops remaining in the field. However, the snow from last week is melting and the forecast is looking somewhat improved. Some producers are concerned about marketing their crops due to disease issues and lower grades.
  • Crop quality in the Region is below the provincial 5-year averages for all harvested crops, with the exception of malt barley and the top two grades of oats which are higher. There are still about 36 per cent of crops left in the fields, 18 per cent in swath and 18 per cent standing.
  • Potato harvest in this Region is complete, with dryland yield at 12.0 tons per acre.
  • Surface soil moisture conditions (sub-surface shown in brackets) are rated as 6 (16) per cent poor to fair, 55 (55) per cent good, 32 (24) per cent excellent, with seven (five) per cent excessive.
Region Three: North East (Smoky Lake, Vermilion, Camrose, Provost)
  • Most counties in the Region received more snow this past weekend which halted any harvest progress.
  • In this Region, about 34 per cent of the crops are still in the fields, 13 per cent standing and 21 per cent in swath and quality is being affected. Nevertheless, crop quality for spring wheat, number 1 barley and the top two grades of canola are either in line with or above the provincial 5-year average.
  • About 98 per cent of potatoes have been harvested in the Region, with reported yields at 15.0 and 17.0 tons per acre for dryland and irrigated fields, respectively.
  • Surface soil moisture conditions (sub-surface shown in brackets) are rated as one (13) per cent poor to fair, 47 (46) per cent good, 47 (40) per cent excellent, with five (one) per cent excessive.
Region Four: North West (Barrhead, Edmonton, Leduc, Drayton Valley, Athabasca)
  • Very little combining was done due to snow, resulting in no significant harvest progress. Standing crops have been flattened to the ground by snow, causing some losses in both yield and quality.
  • While 45 per cent of the crops in this Region are still standing or in swath, the quality for harvested crops is above the provincial 5-year averages, with the exception of malt barley and the top two grades of dry peas which are lower.
  • Almost all potatoes have been harvested, with reported yield at 15.3 and 17.0 tons per acre for dryland and irrigated fields, respectively.
  • Surface soil moisture conditions (sub-surface shown in brackets) are rated as zero (nine) per cent poor to fair, 21 (84) per cent good, 44 (seven) per cent excellent, with 35 (zero) per cent excessive.
Region Five: Peace River (Fairview, Falher, Grande Prairie, Valleyview)
  • The snow last week halted harvest operations.
  • About 21 per cent of the crops in this Region are still standing (10 per cent) or in swath (11 per cent). The quality for harvested crops in the Region is above the provincial 5-year averages only for malt barley and the top two grades of canola and oats.
  • Surface soil moisture conditions (sub-surface shown in brackets) are rated as 18 (22) per cent poor to fair, 43 (40) per cent good, 24 (26) per cent excellent, with 15 (12) per cent excessive.

Ashan Shooshtarian, Crop Statistician
Alberta Agriculture and Forestry
Economics and Competitiveness Branch
Statistics and Data Development Section
E-mail:ashan.shooshtarian@gov.ab.ca
Phone:780-422-2887

October 21, 2016

Note to Users: The contents of this document may not be used or reproduced without properly accrediting Alberta Agriculture and Forestry, Economics and Competitiveness Branch, Statistics and Data Development Section
The 2016 Alberta crop reporting series is available on the Internet at: http://www1.agric.gov.ab.ca/$department/deptdocs.nsf/all/sdd4191


 
 
 
 
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For more information about the content of this document, contact Ashan Shooshtarian.
This information published to the web on October 21, 2016.