Alberta Crop Conditions as of May 5, 2015

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

The May 5, 2015 Alberta Crop Report is also available as a PDF file on the AFSC website

Alberta Crop Conditions as of May 5, 2015

With an early snow melt, conditions have presented themselves to allow producers to get an early start to seeding in all regions but particularly in southern Alberta. With almost 27% of the province seeded, this represents the most advanced seeding progress since 2006 (32.3%) and the 5 year average of 4.8%. Cold night temperatures in the northerly regions during April slowed soil warming and delayed the start of seeding operations in those areas. 31% of the spring wheat, 25% of the barley, 14% of the canola and 55% of the dry peas have been seeded to date. Emergence has been minimal with the exception of southern Alberta.

Almost 70% of the province is rating surface soil moisture as good or excellent with a further 24% rating as fair.
Windy conditions have been depleting soil moisture levels in the top couple of inches of the soil layer causing some producers to delay seeding of shallow seeded crops, especially canola.

Fall seeded crops survived the winter in good condition with 77% rated as good or excellent and a further 16% rated as fair. Hay and pasture crops have gotten off to a slow start due to dryness and the cold night temperatures. 69% are rated in good or excellent condition with 26% rated as fair.

Conditions have been very beneficial to getting an early start to the production year but precipitation will be needed to bring on a strong finish to seeding, especially for the shallow seeded crops.



Regional Assessments:
The 2015 Alberta Crop Report Series provides summaries for the following five regions:

Region One: Southern (Strathmore, Lethbridge, Medicine Hat, Foremost)
  • Earliest spring seeding since started collecting data in 2004. Previous record was 2005 (68% seeded).
  • 13% of spring wheat, barley and dry peas emerged; 3% of canola and potatoes emerged.
  • Windy conditions drying surface soil layer as producers slow seeding in hopes of precipitation.
  • 88% of fall seeded crops rated in good or excellent condition.
  • 58% of region rating surface soil moisture as good or excellent, 26% fair, 15% poor. 71% of region rating subsoil moisture as good/excellent, 25% fair, 3% poor. Excessive moisture less than 1%.
  • 85% of hay and 82% of pastures are rated in good to excellent condition.
Region Two: Central (Rimbey, Airdrie, Coronation, Oyen)
  • Earliest seeding year since 2006 (30.9% seeded). Emergence has been slow at less than 1%.
  • Conditions are generally dry with strong winds worsening the problem. Daytime temperatures have been slightly below average with cold nights, slowing soil warming and retarding forage growth.
  • Driest areas are on the west side of region.
  • Surface moisture rated 65% good or excellent, 23% fair. Sub soil moisture rated 68% good or excellent, 25% fair.
  • 70% of fall seeded crops rated in good or excellent condition, 29% rated fair.
  • 50% of hay and 45% of pastures rated good or excellent, 40% fair, 12% poor.
Region Three: North East (Smoky Lake, Vermilion, Camrose, Provost)
  • Earliest start to seeding since 2006 (11.1%). Nothing has emerged to date.
  • Cool weather has slowed soil warming.
  • 88% of region rating surface moisture as good or excellent, 9% fair. 86% rating sub soil moisture as good or excellent, 12% fair.
  • 82% of hay and pastures rated good or excellent, 16% fair.
Region Four: North West (Barrhead, Edmonton, Leduc, Drayton Valley, Athabasca)
  • Earliest start to seeding since 2010 (7.7%). No crop has emerged to date.
  • Temperatures have been cool, slowing soil warm up. Strong winds are desiccating top soil layer.
  • Surface soil moisture rated as 61% good/excellent, 38% fair. Sub soil moisture rated 50% good or excellent, 40% fair.
  • 75% of hay and pastures rated as good or excellent, 25% fair.
Region Five: Peace River (Fairview, Falher, Grande Prairie, Valleyview)
  • Highest seeding progress since 2010 (8.2%). No crops emerged to date.
  • Producers had been delaying the start of operations to allow soils to warm. Snow in the past week will bring delays but the moisture will be beneficial.
  • Surface moisture is rated 68% good or excellent, 28% fair. Sub soil moisture rated 54% good or excellent, 32% fair, 14% poor.
  • 58% of hay and pastures rated good or excellent, 33% fair, 9% poor.

James Wright, Risk Analyst
Agriculture Financial Services Corporation
Actuarial, Analytics & Forecasting Unit
Lacombe, Alberta
Email: james.wright@afsc.ca
Telephone: (403)782-8336

May 8, 2015

 
 
 
 
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This information published to the web on May 8, 2015.