Crop Conditions as of September 4, 2018

 
 
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Crop Conditions as of September 4, 2018
Wet weather over the past week has slowed down harvesting operations in most areas across the province, especially in the North East, North West and Peace Regions. Frost was reported in some areas, but it is still early to estimate any potential damage (see map). Currently, the quality for all crops are estimated higher than their short and long term averages, but the recent moisture coupled with forecasted precipitation over the next week are expected to have some potential impact.

Provincially, 17 per cent of the crop has now been harvested (up seven per cent from last week), 14 per cent is in swath and 69 per cent remain standing. When compared to the 5-year average (2013-2017), harvest progress is behind in all regions (See Table 1). About 20 per cent of spring wheat, 38 per cent of durum wheat, 81 per cent of winter wheat, 32 per cent of barley, eight per cent of oats, 33 per cent of canola, 65 per cent of dry peas, 77 per cent of lentils and 62 per cent of dry beans have either been combined or swathed.

Preliminary dryland yield indices remained similar to two weeks ago. The provincial estimated dryland yield index is six per cent below the 5-year average and in line with the 10-year average (see Table 2). Currently, compared to the short term normal, yields for the Peace Region are above average (by 20 per cent), for the North East and North West Regions are on par and for the Southern and Central Regions are below the average, respectively, 27 per cent and six per cent. Compared to the long term normal, yields are above average in the Peace (32 per cent), North West (five per cent), North East (seven per cent) and Central (three per cent) Regions, while it is 27 per cent below average in the Southern Region. Average yield for potatoes are estimated at 7.1 and 15.2 tons per acre, respectively, on dryland and irrigated fields. For sugar beets, the average yield is reported at 28 tons per acre, while for dry beans it is 26 cwt per acre.

Provincially, second cut hay is 38 per cent complete for dryland and 59 per cent on irrigation. Preliminary average yield (5-year averages are shown in brackets) on dryland is estimated at 0.9 (1.1) ton per acre, with quality rated at 67 (72) per cent good to excellent. For irrigated hay, average yield is reported at 1.6 (1.7) tons per acre and quality rated as 74 (77) per cent good to excellent.



REGIONAL ASSESSMENTS:
The 2018 Alberta Crop Report Series continues to provide summaries for the following five regions:

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

  • Most parts of the region had rain over the last week, which was a bit late for some crops and delayed harvest progress.
  • Almost half of the crops are still standing, 12 per cent have been swathed and 38 per cent combined. The average yield for potatoes is reported at 6.0 and 15.2 tons per acre, respectively, for dryland and irrigated fields.
  • Crop quality for malt barley, the top two grades of spring wheat, durum wheat, oats and dry peas are all above their provincial 5-year averages, but below average for barley number one and canola number one.
  • Second cut haying operations are 84 per cent complete on irrigated land, with yield reported at 2.0 tons per acre and quality rated at 77 per cent good to excellent. There was no second cut for dryland hay, due to dry conditions.
  • Pasture conditions remained unchanged and are reported as 35 per cent poor, 43 per cent fair, 19 per cent good and three per cent excellent, with similar ratings reported for tame hay.
Region Two: Central (Rimbey, Airdrie, Coronation, Oyen)
  • Most crops in this region are ready for harvest, but harvest operations have been impeded over the past week, due to showers and light rains. However, the recent precipitation did benefit late seeded crops to fill, while cooler temperatures made the crops tough.
  • Overall, about 68 per cent of the crops are still standing, with 16 per cent swathed and 16 per cent combined. The estimated yield for dryland potatoes is reported at 9.0 tons per acre.
  • The quality for harvested crops in this region is above the provincial 5-year averages for malt barley, top two grades of spring and durum wheat, while it is below the 5-year averages for barley number one, canola number one, and the top two grades of oats. Quality grading for dry peas is on par with the 5-year average.
  • Second cut haying operations are 41 per cent complete for dryland and 25 per cent for irrigated land. Average yield on dryland is estimated at 1.0 ton per acre, while irrigated is 1.1 tons per acre. Quality is rated at 73 per cent good for dryland and 70 per cent good to excellent for irrigated.
  • Pasture conditions are rated at 50 per cent poor, 42 per cent fair and eight per cent good, with similar ratings reported for tame hay.
Region Three: North East (Smoky Lake, Vermilion, Camrose, Provost)
  • Rain showers and cool, damp weather conditions have slowed harvest operations. In some areas, cool temperatures and less sunshine have delayed crop maturity.
  • About 73 per cent of crops are standing, with 20 per cent swathed and seven per cent harvested.
  • The quality for harvested crops in this region is above the provincial 5-year averages for the top two grades of spring wheat and dry peas, barley number one and canola number one, but below the 5-year average for malt barley.
  • Second cut haying operations are 31 per cent complete. Average yield is estimated at 0.9 ton per acre, with quality rated at 56 per cent good to excellent, which is significantly lower than the 5-year average.
  • Pasture conditions are rated at 28 per cent poor, 36 per cent fair, 36 per cent good, with similar ratings reported for tame hay.
Region Four: North West (Barrhead, Edmonton, Leduc, Drayton Valley, Athabasca)
  • Showers and cool weather over the past week permitted very little harvest progress. As well, cool temperatures and very little sunshine have delayed crop maturity. Overall, 86 per cent of crops are still standing, 10 per cent in swath and four per cent harvested. The estimated yield for dryland potatoes is reported at 16.0 tons per acre.
  • The quality for all harvested crops in this region is very good and above their provincial 5-year averages.
  • Hay and pasture conditions remain poor and in some cases will have to be abandoned, given very poor yields. Second cut hay is 49 per cent complete, with the average yield estimated at 0.7 ton per acre and quality rated at 79 per cent good to excellent.
  • Pasture and tame hay conditions are rated as 68 per cent poor, 19 per cent fair and 13 per cent good.
Region Five: Peace River (Fairview, Falher, Grande Prairie, Valleyview)
  • Scattered rain showers coupled with cool damp weather continued to hamper harvest progress. About two per cent of crops are in the bin, while 10 per cent swathed and 88 per cent still standing.
  • The quality for all harvested crops in this region is very good and above the provincial 5-year averages.
  • Pasture and tame hay conditions are rated as 20 per cent fair, 68 per cent good and 12 per cent excellent.

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

September 7, 2018

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 2018 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 7, 2018.
Last Reviewed/Revised on October 5, 2018.