Crop Conditions as of September 18, 2018

 
 
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Crop Conditions as of September 18, 2018

Cold, wet weather has been the norm the past several days in almost all areas of the province, halting harvest progress. In addition to the rain/snow mix, frost has been highly variable. Alberta’s harvest as a whole is down 23.4 points over last year at this time for binned crops. With the exception of North West region, provincial harvest delay as compared to last year, has recorded the biggest differential in the Central region, followed by South and Peace with North East moderately behind. The five year index displays all regions behind an average of 19.6 points for crops harvested, with current year at 32.6% combined (See Table 1). Preliminary grades on harvested crops are projected to be over 75% for cereals, and 88% of peas, in the top two grades, while it’s still too early for canola projections. Given the recent and ongoing cold wet weather, the quality of cereals may be reduced for acres still out in the field. Conversely green counts in canola may actually see a benefit.

Expected yields are aligned with the 10 year index for the province (See Table 2). As anticipated, the south region is significantly below normal at 75% of the 10 year yield index, however this is somewhat offset by Peace region at 131% of the 10 year index. The remaining three regions are all marginally above as compared to the past 10 year yields.

With recent precipitation, soil moisture ratings have continued to improve. Surface soil moisture is currently rated as 45.8% good, 19.0% excellent and excessive is 2.2%. Sub-surface soil moisture is 35.6% good, 15.8% excellent and 1.5% excessive provincially (See Map). These soil moisture reserves will be favourable going into winter, and also are reflective of the fall seeded crop conditions currently appraised at 9.8% excellent, 67.3% good, 19.6% fair and only 3.3% poor.



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)
  • Harvest progress is at 68% in the bin with 10% in the swath. Less than 2% of sugar beets are combined.
  • The early drought conditions are reflected in this week’s yield index which is 74% of the 5 year and 75% of the 10 year index. Most major crop yield estimates remain little changed from last report, with the exception of spring wheat which was 31.8 and is now 33.3 bushels per acre.
  • The irrigated yield for spring wheat is 72, barley 92, canola 53 and peas 54 bushels per acre.
  • Soil moisture for surface and subsurface are reported as 67% and 83% fair or poor, respectively.
  • Pasture ratings continue to be at a low level, with conditions reported as 76% fair to poor.
  • Early estimates of quality show spring wheat at 94% and durum at 87% in the top 2 grades, barley with 83% at 1CW or Malt, canola estimated to be 69% 1 Canada, and 92% of peas in the top 2 grades.
Region Two: Central (Rimbey, Airdrie, Coronation, Oyen)
  • Harvest progress shows minimal change from last week and is at 34% in the bin with 25% in the swath. Major cereal crops are less than 40% harvested as of this reporting date.
  • The yield index this week is 94% of the 5 year and 103% of the 10 year index. All major crop yield estimates are constant compared to last report.
  • Soil moisture for surface and subsurface are reported as 64% and 43% good or excellent, respectively.
  • Pasture ratings continue to be low, with conditions reported as 75% fair to poor.
  • Early estimates of quality show spring wheat at 80% and durum at 68% in the top 2 grades, barley with 68% at 1CW or Malt, canola estimated to be 72% 1 Canada, and 77% of peas in the top 2 grades.
Region Three: North East (Smoky Lake, Vermilion, Camrose, Provost)
  • Harvest is at a standstill compared to last week, with progress at 13% in the bin and 27% in the swath. Field pea harvest is at 84% complete, while both barley and spring wheat average 80% still standing.
  • Major crop yield estimates saw little movement from last report. Yield index this week is 99% of the 5 year and 107% of the 10 year index.
  • Soil moisture for surface and subsurface are reported as 94% and 90% good or higher, respectively.
  • Pasture ratings continue to be moderate, with conditions reported as 79% fair to good.
  • With most acres of cereals still standing, early estimates of quality show spring wheat in the top 2 grades, barley at 96% 1CW or Malt, and 82% of peas are in the top 2 grades.
Region Four: North West (Barrhead, Edmonton, Leduc, Drayton Valley, Athabasca)
  • Harvest progress furthered somewhat compared to last week and is currently at 12% in the bin with 31% in the swath. Canola is 66% in the swath and peas are 87% in the bin.
  • Yield estimates for major crops are comparable to the last report. Yield index this week is 99% of the 5 year and 105% of the 10 year index.
  • Soil moisture for surface and subsurface are reported as 64% and 40% good or better, respectively.
  • Pasture is depleted, with conditions reported as 82% poor to fair.
  • Over 80% of cereals are still standing, but the early estimates of quality for spring wheat are in the top 2 grades, barley is 97% at 1CW or Malt, and 86% of peas are in the top 2 grades.
Region Five: Peace River (Fairview, Falher, Grande Prairie, Valleyview)
  • Harvest progress shows an increase over last week and is currently at 6% in the bin with 33% in the swath.
  • Pea yield estimates increased from 47.4 to 49.1 bushels per acre, while the other major crop yields remain static from last report. The yield index this week is 120% of the 5 year and 131% of the 10 year index.
  • Soil moisture for surface and subsurface are reported as 90% and 84% good or excellent, respectively, with 10% and 6% rated as excessive.
  • Pasture ratings for this region are the highest in Alberta, with conditions reported as 80% good to excellent.
  • Early estimates of quality show cereals are estimated in the top 2 grades, and 97% of peas in the top 2 grades. As very little canola is harvested, it is too early as of yet for grade estimates.

Z. Sangster & J. Sanden Product Coordinators
email: zsuzsanna.sangster@afsc.ca
email: jackie.sanden@afsc.ca
Agriculture Financial Services Corporation
Business Risk Management Products Unit
Lacombe, Alberta

September 21, 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 Samantha Wallbank.
This information published to the web on September 21, 2018.
Last Reviewed/Revised on September 28, 2018.