Alberta Crop Conditions as of June 16, 2015

 
 
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Crop Conditions as of June 16, 2015
Following the dry spring, most areas of the province that were in critical need of moisture received some precipitation over the past week, improving soil moisture ratings and sustaining crop development. The large precipitation was received in some parts of the Central Region (Lacombe County) and the North East Region (M.D. Bonnyville). Very dry conditions continue to persist in the northern part of the Peace Region, some areas of the North East Region (Flagstaff, Beaver and Camrose County) and around the Special Areas of the Southern Region. The recent rain was very spotty causing uneven germination on late seeded crops, especially for canola. Significant rain is needed in many areas to help crops, hay and pasture develop. The next four weeks (June 15-July 15) will be very important for crop development as it is the rainiest period of the year.

Despite the recent rain, soil moisture reserves in the province remain mostly poor to fair. Areas with poor surface moisture are reported in all regions, especially in the North West Region, where poor surface moisture is reported for 66 per cent of the crop land. The South, Central, North East, and North West Regions are reporting from seven to 34 per cent of crop land in poor condition (see Table 1).

Provincially, crop growing conditions are 41 per cent good to excellent, which is 48 per cent below the five-year average (2010-2014). About 42 to 55 per cent of spring wheat, barley, durum, lentils and dry peas are in good to excellent condition, while canola is at 32 per cent (see Table 2). Crop development is somewhat delayed due to hot and dry weather, with most spring cereal crops in the tillering stage, while around half of the canola crop is in the 4-6 leaf node stage.

Hay and pasture crops continue to be affected by the dry spring conditions. Provincially, 22 per cent of tame hay and pasture are rated good or excellent, up two per cent from last week. First cut haying operations started in the South and Central Regions.


REGIONAL ASSESSMENTS:
The 2015 Alberta Crop Report Series continues to provide summaries for the following five regions:

Region One: Southern (Strathmore, Lethbridge, Medicine Hat, Foremost)
  • A storm brought damaging hail to parts of the region. Small amounts of rain were received, although it was not enough to improve the soil moisture conditions.
  • Despite the recent precipitation, surface soil moisture conditions declined three per cent from a week ago and are now rated as 66 per cent poor to fair.
  • Regionally, between 55 and 65 per cent of spring wheat, canola, barley and dry peas are in good to excellent condition. In terms of crop development, most spring cereals are in the elongation stage.
  • Pasture conditions have not changed from last week and are reported as 63 per cent poor to fair, with similar ratings reported for tame hay. First cut haying operations are underway, with 15 per cent of irrigated and 10 per cent of dryland complete.
.Region Two: Central (Rimbey, Airdrie, Coronation, Oyen)
  • Isolated showers brought some much needed moisture to most of the region. However, as soil moisture conditions remain very dry, additional rain is needed for crop, hay and pasture development.
  • Although surface moisture conditions improved 14 per cent, 79 per cent are rated poor to fair.
  • Regionally, only 24 to 28 per cent of spring wheat, canola, barley and dry peas are in good to excellent condition. In terms of crop development, most spring cereals are in the tillering stage.
  • Pasture conditions have improved seven per cent from last week and are now reported as 86 per cent poor to fair, with the same ratings reported for tame hay. First cut haying operations are underway, with two per cent of dryland complete.
Region Three: North East (Smoky Lake, Vermilion, Camrose, Provost)
  • Although, much needed isolated showers helped previously dry areas and somewhat alleviated moisture stress, soil moisture conditions remain very dry. Additional rain is needed to help crop, hay and pasture development.
  • Surface soil moisture conditions did improve by nine per cent from last week, but are still rated as 81 per cent poor to fair.
  • Regionally, between 45 and 64 per cent of spring wheat, barley and dry peas are in good to excellent condition, while canola is at 29 per cent. In terms of crop development, most spring cereals are in the tillering stage.
  • Pasture conditions have not changed from last week and are reported as 93 per cent poor to fair, with similar ratings reported for tame hay.
Region Four: North West (Barrhead, Edmonton, Leduc, Drayton Valley, Athabasca)
  • Scattered localized showers occurred in most parts of the region, with only a moderate effect on the soil moisture conditions due to drying winds. More rain is needed soon to allow for crop, hay and pasture development.
  • Overall, surface moisture conditions are rated as 92 per cent poor to fair, compared to 98 per cent a week ago.
  • About 15 to 19 per cent of spring wheat, barley, canola, and dry peas are in good to excellent condition. Crop development is delayed, with most spring cereals in the seedling growth stage.
  • Pasture conditions declined four per cent and from last week and are now reported as 98 per cent poor to fair, with similar ratings reported for tame hay.
Region Five: Peace River (Fairview, Falher, Grande Prairie, Valleyview)
  • Scattered rainfall brought much needed moisture to most of the region, and up to 15 mm across the southern part of the region, improving soil moisture conditions.
  • Surface soil moisture conditions jumped 22 per cent from a week ago to 62 per cent good to excellent.
  • Regionally, between 48 and 60 per cent of spring wheat, barley and dry peas are in good to excellent condition, while canola is at 36 per cent. Most spring cereal crops are in the tillering stage.
  • Pasture conditions have not changed from last week and are reported as 49 per cent poor to fair, while tame hay is at 54 per cent.

Alberta Agriculture and Forestry
Lukas Matejovsky, Crop Statistician
Economics and Competitiveness Division
E-mail: lukas.matejovsky@gov.ab.ca
Statistics and Data Development Branch
Phone: 780-422-2887

June 19, 2015

Note to Users: The contents of this document may not be used or reproduced without properly accrediting Alberta Agriculture and Forestry, Economics and Competitiveness Division, Statistics and Data Development Branch.
The 2015 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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This information published to the web on June 19, 2015.