Alberta Crop Conditions as of August 5, 2014, Abbreviated Report

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

The August 5, 2014 Crop Report is also available as a PDF file on the AFSC website.

Hot, dry weather covered the province this past week with temperatures ranging from the mid to high 20’s into the mid 30 degree Celsius range. Precipitation was light in the form of spotty showers. Crops are progressing rapidly toward maturity and under significant stress due to the heat. It appears that the canola flowering period has been shortened due to the heat which could have an impact on yield. Harvest is underway with some early winter wheat being swathed in southern Alberta and reports of field peas and spring wheat being desiccated.

Crop condition ratings have been slowly declining in all regions from their highs at the end of June. Provincially, ratings have declined from 83% rated good or excellent to 75% currently. The 5 year average is 70%. Crop condition ratings for spring wheat, barley and field peas are 5% above their 5 year averages while the rating for canola is 5% below its 5 year average.

Soil moisture ratings have declined with the hot weather. Surface moisture declined 3% to 72% of the province rated good or excellent. Sub soil moisture dropped 4% to 69% rated good or excellent.

Hay/pasture ratings declined 7% over the week due to the hot weather to 64% good or excellent. Latest ratings with last week in brackets are: Poor 6% (6%); Fair 30% (23%); Good 56% (60%); Excellent 8% (11%).

Regional Assessments:
The 2014 Alberta Crop Report Series provides summaries for the following five regions:

Region One: Southern (Strathmore, Lethbridge, Medicine Hat, Foremost)
  • Hot temperatures and spotty light showers.
  • Swathing reported on winter wheat and early mustard; field peas and barley close to starting.
  • Reports of heat causing stress in canola and shutting down bloom period.
  • 1% decline in crop condition ratings to 80%; 5 year average is 77% good or excellent.
  • Heat causing significant reduction to hay/pasture ratings this week, down 13% to 57% rated good or excellent.
Region Two: Central (Rimbey, Airdrie, Coronation, Oyen)
  • Hot temperatures have crops rapidly progressing to maturity. Light precipitation in the east portion of the region with spotty showers in the west.
  • Hail has been very active in this region this year which will affect yield.
  • 2014 crop condition ratings are the lowest since 2009.
  • Crop condition ratings improved 2% to 66% good or excellent. 5 year regional average is 73% good/excellent. Canola rating is 10% below 5 year averages.
  • Hay/pasture ratings improved 1% to 59% rated good or excellent.
Region Three: North East (Smoky Lake, Vermilion, Camrose, Provost)
  • Hot, humid weather with spotty showers.
  • Crop condition ratings declined 2% over the week to 86% good or excellent. The 5 year average rating is 68% good or excellent.
  • Soil moisture ratings are very good throughout the region at 89% good or excellent, down 6% on the week.
  • Hay/pasture ratings down 4% on the week to 90% rated good or excellent.
Region Four: North West (Barrhead, Edmonton, Leduc, Drayton Valley, Athabasca)
  • Hot weather with temperatures in mid to high 20’s Celsius.
  • Reports of hot weather shortening canola bloom period. 85% of crops rated good or excellent, down 6% on the week. The 5 year average condition rating is 64% good or excellent.
  • Hay/pasture ratings declined 15% on the week to 68% good or excellent.
Region Five: Peace River (Fairview, Falher, Grande Prairie, Valleyview)
  • Hot, dry weather in the region. Crops progressing rapidly toward maturity. Anticipating harvesting of early field peas to get underway shortly. Desiccation of field peas and wheat occurring.
  • Crop condition ratings continue to decline due to the ongoing dry weather. 2014 crop condition ratings are at lowest level since the drought year of 2010.
  • Hay/pasture ratings declined 6% to 48% good or excellent.
James Wright, Risk Analyst
Agriculture Financial Services Corporation
Actuarial, Analytics & Forecasting Unit
Lacombe, Alberta
August 8, 2014

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This information published to the web on August 8, 2014.