Alberta Crop Report - July 29, 2010

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 This information has been made available by Agriculture Financial Services Corporation.

The July 29, 2010 Crop Report is also available as a PDF file on the AFSC website.

Prepared by:
James Wright
Business Risk Management Division
Actuarial & Program Readiness
AFSC, Lacombe
Telephone: (403)782-8336

Average to slightly above average temperatures combined with precipitation in the form of thunder storms helped to maintain high provincial crop condition ratings. Improved ratings in southern Alberta were off set by significant rating decreases in the Peace River area due to the continuation of dry weather in the southern and central areas of that region. Initial provincial yield estimates indicate crop yields could be above long term averages by 10 – 15%.

Crop Condition Ratings

First cut haying is approximately 60% completed on dryland and 78% completed on irrigation. Yields are estimated to be 30% higher than the long term average and more than double those of 2009. Quality is being affected by the frequent showers which has delayed baling with only 54% of the dryland crop and 78% of the irrigated crop rated good/excellent.

Subsoil moisture conditions are virtually unchanged, despite the major reductions in the Peace region, at 21% poor/ 12% fair/ 42% good/ 22% excellent/ 3% excessive. Hay/pasture ratings reacted similarly at 14% poor/ 15% fair/ 52% good/ 19% excellent.

Southern Alberta
The region received 10 – 20 mm of precipitation with hail reported across all areas of the region. Crop development continues to be well behind normal with spring cereals in the mid heading to early pollination stage. Winter wheat is in the late milk stage with canola and field peas at 62% podding. Crop condition ratings improved by 3 – 6% for all crops. Initial yield estimates are 10% above long term averages. There are no significant pest issues reported at this time.

First cut dryland haying is 67% complete with 80% of the crop rated good/excellent for quality. First cut irrigated hay is 80% complete with 83% rated good/excellent for quality. Dryland yields are approximately 35% above long term averages. Sub soil moisture ratings have declined slightly to 0% poor/ 6% fair/ 45% good/ 44% excellent/ 5% excessive. Hay/pastures are rated 1% poor/ 7% fair/ 51% good/ 41% excellent.

Central Alberta
The region received 30 – 40 mm of precipitation mostly in the form of frequent thunderstorms which included hail across the region. Crop development is 7 – 10 days behind normal with spring cereals in the late heading to early pollination stages. Winter wheat is entering the dough stage with canola and field peas at 25% and 40% podding respectively. Crop condition ratings were virtually unchanged from 2 weeks ago. Initial yield estimates are 5 – 10% above long term averages. Cutworms, wireworms and root maggots are reported above economic threshold damage levels in 8% of the region.

First cut dryland hay is 50% complete with 51% rated good/excellent for quality as quality is suffering due to the frequent showers. Yields are estimated at 40% above long term averages Subsoil moisture ratings declined slightly to 0% poor/ 3% fair/ 57% good/ 32% excellent/ 8% excessive. Hay/pasture ratings have declined slightly to 1% poor/ 11% fair/ 63% good/ 25% excellent.

North East Alberta
The region received 10 – 35 mm of precipitation with the higher amounts occurring in the extreme south portion of the region. The incidence of hail appears to be light at this time. Crops are progressing well with spring cereals in the early to mid pollination stage, winter wheat in the mid milk stage while canola is 45% podding and field peas is 70% podding. Crop condition ratings were unchanged for the spring cereals but down 4% for the canola and field peas from the July 15 crop report. Initial yield estimates are 20 – 25% above long term averages. Grasshoppers, lygus bugs and root worms are reported at moderate levels across the region.

First cut haying is being seriously affected by the frequent showers at 45% complete. Quality is also suffering with only 28% of the crop rated good/excellent. Yields are very good at 50% above average. Sub soil moisture ratings improved to 2% poor/ 10% fair/ 66% good/ 20% excellent/ 2% excessive. Hay/pasture ratings declined slightly to 1% poor/6% fair/79% good/ 14% excellent.

North West Alberta
The region received 15 – 25 mm of precipitation principally as showers. Hail incidence has been light with some moderate storms affecting the northern portion of the region. Crop development ratings continue to be high and were unchanged since last report. Spring cereals are in the late pollination to early milk stage with winter wheat entering the dough stage. Canola is 67% podding, field peas is 86% podding. Initial yields are 20% higher than long term averages. Grasshopper, flea beetle, Lygus bug and root maggot populations are reported as moderate.

First cut haying is being seriously affected by the showery weather. 60% of the crop has been baled but only 36% of the crop is rated good/excellent for quality. Yields are anticipated to be 20% above average. Subsoil moisture ratings were virtually unchanged at 35% poor/ 26% fair/ 33% good/ 6% excellent. Hay/pasture ratings declined slightly to 4% poor/ 26% fair/ 62% good/ 8% excellent.

Peace River
Dry weather continues across the south and central portions of the region. Moisture conditions in the northern portion are considerably better though this area makes up a very small portion of the producing area. The region received less than 10 mm of precipitation in the form of light spotty showers of questionable value. Crops are showing significant drought stress and being forced to maturity. Crop condition ratings have declined dramatically by 17 – 23% over the past 2 weeks with approximately 37% of the wheat and barley rated as poor and a further 37% rated as fair. 32% of the canola and 38% of the field peas are rated poor with 40% of the canola and 42% of the peas rate fair. Spring cereals are in the medium to late milk stage with canola 86% podding and field peas 100% podding. Initial estimates have yields down 20% from the long term average. No issues with pests were reported.

First cut haying is 82% complete with 74% of the crop rated good/excellent for quality. Yield is expected to be down 40% from the long term average. Subsoil moisture is rated 71% poor/ 21% fair/ 6% good/ 2% excellent. Hay/pasture ratings are 67% poor/ 24% fair/ 6% good/ 5% excellent.

Prepared by Agriculture Financial Services Corporation, in cooperation with Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development. For more information, please contact the writer, James Wright.

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This information published to the web on August 4, 2010.