Crop Conditions as of September 18, 2012

 
 
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Over the past two weeks, the province experienced variable weather. During the first week (September 5-11), strong winds in the South and Central Regions and scattered showers and cool temperatures in North East and North West Regions, slowed down harvest progress. The exception was the Peace Region, where harvest progressed well, although thundershowers and hail were reported in a few areas. Heavy winds which fanned grass fires were reported in the South Region and also caused severe damage to crops in swath. The wind particularly affected canola and barley, blowing swaths around and causing them to shell out. During the second week (September 12-18), dry and warm weather allowed significant harvest progress across the entire province.

Overall, 60 per cent of the cereal crops are in the bin, about 21 per cent in swath and 19 per cent are still standing (Table 1 and 2). Harvest in the South Region is most advanced with 89 per cent complete, followed by the Peace and Central Regions, with about 67 per cent and 52 per cent, respectively. For the North East and North West Regions, harvest is about 46 per cent and 41 per cent complete, respectively. Of the major crops, spring wheat and barley are 60 and 62 per cent harvested respectively, while canola is at 56 per cent complete. Dry peas are more than 97 per cent complete.

Provincially, surface soil moisture conditions are currently rated as 50 per cent good to excellent, down from 65 per cent two weeks ago. There continues to be some reports of lower yields than anticipated, especially in North East, North West and Peace Regions, due to diseases and heat stress in July and August. However, yields are still above their 10-year averages.



Regional Assessments:
The 2012 Alberta Crop Report Series continues to provide summaries for the following five regions:

Region One: Southern (Strathmore, Lethbridge, Medicine Hat, Foremost)
  • During the past two weeks, significant harvest progress was made due to dry and warm weather. Producers now have about three per cent of cereal crops standing, with eight per cent in swath and 89 per cent combined. About 86 per cent of canola has been combined, with 13 per cent in swath and one per cent standing. For dry pea, harvest is now complete. Yields for major crops are estimated to be above average, and of good quality. About 65 per cent of potatoes are still in the field, while about 71 per cent of dry beans have already been harvested. Harvest for sugar beets has not yet begun.
  • Producers reported strong winds throughout the last two weeks that have damaged crops and contributed to field fires in several parts of the region.
  • Surface moisture has significantly decreased and is now rated at 37 per cent poor, 40 per cent fair, and 23 per cent good to excellent. Sub-surface moisture is rated at 10 per cent poor, 48 per cent fair and 42 per cent good to excellent.
Region Two: Central (Rimbey, Airdrie, Coronation, Oyen)
  • From September 5-11, heavy winds and light rain showers slowed harvest progress, but the following week, September 12-18, good weather conditions allowed harvest to advance. About 22 per cent of cereal crops are still standing, with about 26 per cent in swath and 52 per cent combined. Nearly 13 per cent of canola is standing, with 33 per cent in swath and 54 per cent combined. Just over seven per cent of dry peas are standing, with one per cent swathed and 92 per cent combined. Yields are reported as average to above average.
  • Some areas of the region reported hail and wind damage. The wind particularly affected canola and barley, blowing swaths around and causing them to shell out.
  • Surface and sub-surface moisture conditions has decreased in last two weeks and are rated as good to excellent at 34 per cent and 74 per cent, respectively.
Region Three: North East (Smoky Lake, Vermilion, Camrose, Provost)
  • During the first week some areas of the region received rainfall that has slowed down harvest progress. The second week, harvest has been progressing well with the dry and warm weather. Overall, about 21 per cent of cereals are still standing, with 33 per cent swathed and 46 per cent combined. About seven per cent of canola is standing, with 51 per cent swathed and 42 per cent in the bin. Producers are reporting lower yields than anticipated. Yields are estimated to be average and of good quality.
  • Quality of first cut hay is rated 66 per cent good to excellent while the second cut is rated at 78 per cent of good to excellent quality. Surface and sub-surface moisture conditions are generally rated 84 per cent and 85 per cent respectively, as fair to good.
Region Four: North West (Barrhead, Edmonton, Leduc, Drayton Valley, Athabasca)
  • Over the past two weeks, conditions were similar to North East regions. During the first week, scattered showers and cool temperatures slowed harvest progress, but by the second week, dry and warm weather allowed significant progress across the entire region. Overall, about 32 per cent of cereal crops are still standing, with 27 per cent swathed and 41 per cent combined. About five per cent of canola is standing, with 57 per cent in swath and 38 per cent combined. Yields are expected to be above average and quality is good.
  • Quality of first cut hay is rated about 63 per cent good to excellent quality, while the second cut is rated as 82 per cent good to excellent. Pasture conditions declined significantly over the past two weeks to 64 per cent fair, 34 per cent good and two per cent excellent.
  • Surface and sub-surface moisture conditions are rated as good to excellent at 95 per cent and 92 per cent, respectively.
Region Five: Peace River (Fairview, Falher, Grande Prairie, Valleyview)
  • Over the past two weeks, harvest has been progressing well. About 15 per cent of cereal crops are still standing, with 18 per cent in the swath, and 67 per cent combined. About four per cent of canola is standing, with 35 per cent in swath and 61 per cent combined. About 71 per cent of spring wheat is in the bin, with 26 per cent still standing, and three per cent swathed. Yields are estimated to be average to above average.
  • First cut hay is rated at 81 per cent good to excellent quality, while the second cut is rated at about 90 per cent good to excellent quality, with yields about average.
  • Overall, surface moisture conditions are rated at 29 per cent poor, 52 per cent fair and 19 per cent good. Sub-surface moisture is rated at seven per cent poor, 53 per cent fair, 38 per cent good, and two per cent excellent.

Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development
Economics and Competitiveness Division
Statistics and Data Development Branch
September 21, 2012

Lukas Matejovsky, Crop Statistician
E-mail: lukas.matejovsky@gov.ab.ca
Phone: 780-422-2887

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This information published to the web on September 21, 2012.