Crop Conditions as of September 12, 2017 (Abbreviated Report)

 
 
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Crop Conditions as of September 12, 2017 (Abbreviated Report)

Warm and dry weather conditions have prevailed across the province for several weeks, with only a few scattered areas experiencing frost in September. However, dry weather depleted the soil moisture, especially in the Southern and Central Regions where a large part of crops have already been harvested and soil does not have the cover. The map below shows the soil moisture reserves relative to long term normal to a depth of 120 cm. Producers are cautious due to fire hazards that could occur while harvesting in dry conditions.

Warm and windy days over the past week have led to harvest progress in all regions. Provincially, about 45 percent of crops have been harvested (up 13 percent from last week), 17 percent are in the swath (up two percent from a week ago) and 38 percent remain standing (down 14 percent from last week). When compared to the 5-year average (2012-2016), harvest progress is advanced about 36 percent in the Southern and 35 percent in the Central Region and behind about eight percent in the North West and 18 percent in the Peace Region, while it is in line with the 5-year averages in the North East Region (See Table 1). Provincially, nearly 86 percent of dry peas, 55 percent of barley, 50 percent of spring wheat, 28 percent of canola and 22 percent of oats are in the bin.

Both surface and sub-surface soil moisture ratings across the province dropped slightly. Surface soil moisture (sub-surface soil moisture rating are in brackets) is now rated as 33 (26) percent poor, 20 (22) percent fair, 24 (27) percent good and 22 (23) percent excellent, with one (two) percent excessive. Pasture conditions (5-year averages are in brackets) are rated as 37 (16) percent poor, 26 (38) percent fair, 32 (41) percent good and five (five) percent excellent (See Table 2). Tame hay conditions have similar ratings and are reported as 35 percent poor, 35 percent fair, 24 percent good and six percent excellent.



REGIONAL ASSESSMENTS:
The 2017 Alberta Crop Report Series continues to provide summaries for the following five regions:

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

  • Hot, dry and windy weather conditions over the past week provided good harvest conditions, allowing for another 18 percent of crops in the bin. Yields and grades are greatly varied. Considering the heat stress and dry conditions in some areas, yields are higher than what was expected earlier in the season.
  • Regionally, only seven percent of crops are still standing (compared to the 5-year average of 28 percent), six percent swathed (compared to the 5-year average of 21 percent) and 87 percent combined (well above the 5-year average of 51 percent). While all dry peas are in the bin, about 96 percent of barley, 93 percent of spring wheat, 88 percent of oats and canola are either in swath or the bin.
  • Surface soil moisture conditions (sub-surface soil ratings in the brackets) are rated as 66 (54) percent poor, 26 (28) percent fair and eight (18) percent good.
Region Two: Central (Rimbey, Airdrie, Coronation, Oyen)
  • Dry weather throughout the last week was beneficial for harvest progress. However, dry conditions and heat stress are still affecting late seeded crops as well as forages. Some producers are waiting for rain to cure out green seeds in canola fields.
  • The Central Region has 58 percent of crops harvested (well above the 5-year average of 23 percent), 21 percent in swath (compared to the 5-year average of 28 percent) and 21 percent still standing (compared to the 5-year average of 49 percent). About 98 percent of dry peas, 80 percent of canola, 78 percent of spring wheat, 74 percent of barley and 62 percent of oats are either harvested or swathed.
  • Surface soil moisture conditions (sub-surface soil ratings in the brackets) are rated as 47 (41) percent poor, 29 (33) percent fair, 21 (23) percent good and three (three) percent excellent.
Region Three: North East (Smoky Lake, Vermilion, Camrose, Provost)
  • Warm dry weather conditions over the past week put harvest operations into full swing. However, there are still some fields with green and immature crops which could be vulnerable to frost.
  • In the North East Region, 25 percent of crops have been harvested (in line with the 5-year average of 25 percent), with 22 percent in the swath (compared to the 5-year average of 38 percent) and 53 percent still standing (compared to 5-year average of 37 percent). About 90 percent of dry peas, 57 percent of canola, 37 percent of spring wheat, 31 percent of barley and 26 percent of oats are either in swath or in the bin.
  • Surface soil moisture conditions (sub-surface soil ratings in the brackets) are rated as six (two) percent poor, 12 (eight) percent fair, 36 (20) percent good, 45 (66) percent excellent and one (four) percent excessive.
Region Four: North West (Barrhead, Edmonton, Leduc, Drayton Valley, Athabasca)
  • Harvest operations were underway in most areas of the Region, but was halted for a day or two due to rain showers. Dry peas harvest was slightly advanced, while there are many standing and immature fields that can be affected by frost.
  • Overall, 69 percent of crops are still standing (compared to the 5-year average of 47 percent), 21 percent in swath (compared to the 5-year average of 35 percent) and 10 percent harvested (behind the 5-year average of 18 percent). Nearly 76 percent of dry peas, 43 percent of canola, 19 percent of spring wheat and 16 percent of both barley and oats have been either combined or swathed.
  • Surface soil moisture conditions (sub-surface soil ratings in the brackets) are rated as 16 (zero) percent poor, seven (20) percent fair, 21 (53) percent good, 55 (25) percent excellent and one (two) percent excessive.
Region Five: Peace River (Fairview, Falher, Grande Prairie, Valleyview)
  • Precipitation over the last weekend has slowed down harvest operations. Regionally, 17 percent of crops have been combined (behind the 5-year average of 35 percent), 17 percent in swath (compared to the 5-year average of 31 percent) and 66 percent still standing (compared to the 5-year average of 34 percent). About 44 percent of dry peas, 39 percent of canola, 27 percent of spring wheat, 20 percent of oats and 19 percent of barley have been either combined or swathed.
  • Surface soil moisture conditions (sub-surface soil ratings in the brackets) are rated as four (five) percent poor, 15 (18) percent fair, 45 (44) percent good, 33 (30) percent excellent and three (three) percent 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

September 15, 2017

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 2017 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 document is maintained by Marian Elson.
This information published to the web on September 15, 2017.
Last Reviewed/Revised on October 6, 2017.