Crop Conditions as of May 8, 2018 (Abbreviated Report)

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Crop Conditions as of May 8, 2018 (Abbreviated Report)

Warm, dry weather throughout the province during the reporting period dried soils sufficiently to allow producers to start spring operations in all regions. Seeding progress is approaching 10% completed as compared to the 5 year average of near 30%, approximately 7-10 days behind normal (See Table 1). Standing water is disappearing but remains a significant issue in all regions as many of these acres will likely remain unseeded. Due to the late start to seeding, less than 1% of crops have emerged thus far, all in the South region.

Surface soil moisture ratings have improved in the northern regions but declined in the South and Central. Provincially, the area rated good or excellent is virtually unchanged at 74% (See Table 2). Excessive moisture ratings dropped an average of 7 percentage points from last week, principally in the north but poor/fair surface soil moisture ratings have rose in the South, Central and the North East as drier conditions have expanded further north, now reaching Edmonton. After the dry conditions experienced last year across much of Southern and Central Alberta, sub soil moisture levels should be carefully watched as there has been little time for moisture recharge which would seriously affect its ability to carry another crop should another dry year occur (See Map).

Hay and pastures have reacted well to the warm temperatures of the past week and are greening up. We should see further improvement to forage crop conditions as showers and light rain have fallen over the past several days in all regions with the exception of the Peace region since the latest survey. Precipitation amounts are expected to be light which should cause minimal delays to the seeding of annual crops.

Warm, dry weather is forecast for the province starting this weekend and early next week.

The 2018 Alberta Crop Report Series continues to provide summaries for the following five regions:

Region One: Southern (Strathmore, Lethbridge, Medicine Hat, Foremost)
  • Warm, dry weather got seeding progressing across the entire region
  • Seeding at 25% complete compared to 1.4% last week but 10 days behind the 5 year average near 55%.
  • Surface soil moisture ratings declined to 70% rated good or excellent from 78% last week. The area rated poor or fair rose to 21% from 14%. Excessive moisture ratings were near unchanged.
  • Sub soil moisture ratings declined 10 percentage points to 62% good or excellent while 34% of the region is rated poor or fair.
  • Hay and pastures greening up and showing signs of growth.
Region Two: Central (Rimbey, Airdrie, Coronation, Oyen)
  • Warm, dry weather has seeding operations starting in all municipalities.
  • Seeding at 4% completed, up from 0.1% last week but 7 days behind the 5 year average of 30%.
  • Surface soil moisture ratings declined to 79% rated good or excellent from 88% last week. The area rated poor or fair rose to 19% from 8%. Positively, excessive moisture ratings declined to 1%.
  • Sub soil moisture dropped to 75% rated good or excellent from 83% last week.
  • Hay and pastures greening up.
Region Three: North East (Smoky Lake, Vermilion, Camrose, Provost)
  • Warm, dry weather has seeding starting but many municipalities need a little more time for dry down.
  • Seeding near 2% completed, less than 7 days behind the 5 year average of 15%.
  • Surface soil moisture ratings improving. Excessive moisture dropped to 25% from 38%. The good or excellent rating rose to 69% of the region from 62% last week.
  • Hay and pastures are starting to green up and will benefit from any precipitation received.
Region Four: North West (Barrhead, Edmonton, Leduc, Drayton Valley, Athabasca)
  • Warm, dry weather has dried up field conditions to get seeding operations underway.
  • Seeding at 1% completed versus 5 year average of 14% (less than 1 week behind).
  • Surface soil moisture ratings improving. Excessive moisture rating declined to 30% from 41% last week. The portion of the region rated good or excellent rose to 70% from 59%.
  • Hay and pasture crops showing signs of growth due to the warm weather.
Region Five: Peace River (Fairview, Falher, Grande Prairie, Valleyview)
  • Dry windy weather enhanced soil drying allowing a small amount of seeding to get underway. Some fields remain too wet to access at this time as spr. temperatures have been cooler than in the rest of the province.
  • 1% seeded compared to 5 year average of 12%.
  • Excessive surface moisture ratings declined by 14 percentage points to 12%. The percentage of the region rated good or excellent rose to 85% from 71% last week.
  • Hay and pastures have been slow to get started due to the cooler temperatures.

James Wright, Risk Analyst
Agriculture Financial Services Corporation
Pricing Unit, Research & Product Development
Lacombe, Alberta
Phone: 403-782-8336

May 11, 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:$department/deptdocs.nsf/all/sdd4191

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This information published to the web on May 11, 2018.