Alberta Crop Conditions as of August 25, 2015

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

The August 25, 2015 Alberta Crop Report is also available as a PDF file on the AFSC website

Alberta Crop Conditions as of August 25, 2015

Showers or rain was reported in virtually all areas of the province last week affecting harvest progress. Harvest is estimated at slightly less than 10% complete with an additional 12% in the swath, up from 6% combined and 6% swathed the prior week. The 5 year average for this date is 11% swathed and 4% combined. Frost was reported in northern regions in the August 21-22 time period. Damage is yet to be determined but most crops should be beyond the stage for significant damage to be expected with the possible exception of canola. Crop yield estimates continue to improve as more harvest information becomes available. Yield averages improved in 4 of the 5 regions with the Peace being the only region to decline. Yield estimates improved significantly in the North West region which is the region most affected by the dry conditions. Second growth is a significant problem for producers this year. Decisions will be required whether to wait, swath now or desiccate.

Provincial soil moisture ratings improved for both surface and sub soil ratings. Surface moisture improved 3 points to 39% rated good or excellent. Significant improvements were reported in South and Central regions. Subsoil moisture improved 2 points to 34% rated good or excellent with good improvements in the South and North East regions off set somewhat by marginal declines in the North West and Peace regions.

Hay and pasture ratings showed a slight improvement to 19% of the province rated good or excellent. Ratings were higher in the South and Central regions and little changed in the remainder of the province. Current provincial ratings are: 42% Poor (- 1); 39% Fair (no change); 19% Good (+ 2); < 1% Excellent (no change). Approximately 55% of the province indicates there will be a 2nd cut dryland hay crop. Currently, 16% of the 2nd cut dryland crop and 65% of the 2nd cut irrigated crop is baled.

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

Region One: Southern (Strathmore, Lethbridge, Medicine Hat, Foremost)
  • Showers slowed harvest operations. Heavier rains received in west portion of the region.
  • 17% of crop swathed; 24% harvested (+ 4 percentage points for the week).
  • Regional yield estimates improved to 76.3% of the 5 year average. Improved yield estimates for spring wheat, durum, barley, oats and field peas. Yield estimates declined minimally for canola (- 0.1 bu/acre).
  • Surface soil moisture ratings improved to 36% good or excellent (+ 7 points); sub soil moisture improved to 30% good or excellent (+ 3 percentage points).
  • Hay and pastures improved with 47% rated poor (- 4 points) and 14% rated good or excellent (+ 2 points).
Region Two: Central (Rimbey, Airdrie, Coronation, Oyen)
  • Fairly general rain across the region with heavier amounts in the west.
  • 9% of crop swathed; 4% harvested (+ 2 percentage points for the week).
  • Regional yield estimates improved to 80.2% of the 5 year average. Yield estimates improved for all crops except durum which was unchanged. Barley and oat estimates increased 2 bushels/acre, canola, peas and spring wheat estimates increased 1 bushel/acre.
  • Surface soil moisture improved to 59% rated good or excellent (+ 4 points). Sub soil moisture improved by 1 percentage point to 50% rated good or excellent.
  • Hay/pasture ratings showed significant improvement with a 2 point decline in the Poor rating to 33% and with a 5 point increase to the good or excellent rating to 28%.
Region Three: North East (Smoky Lake, Vermilion, Camrose, Provost)
  • Showers reported in much of the region with light rain in the east portion along the Saskatchewan border. Light frost reported in western portion of the region.
  • 5% of crop swathed; 3% harvested (+ 2.5 percentage points for the week).
  • Regional yield estimates increased to 78.0% of the 5 year average. Estimates improved for all crops by 1 bushel/acre.
  • Surface soil moisture ratings improved by 2 points to 41% rated good or excellent. Sub soil ratings are 37% rated good or excellent (up 6 points).
  • Pasture/hay ratings unchanged at 23% rated good or excellent.
Region Four: North West (Barrhead, Edmonton, Leduc, Drayton Valley, Athabasca)
  • Light showers reported throughout the region. Frost reported in many areas.
  • 5% of crops swathed; 5% harvested (+ 4 percentage points for the week).
  • Regional yield estimates are significantly higher than previously reported at 76.9% of the 5 year average yield (previously 69.4%). Yield estimates increased 4 – 6 bushels/acre with barley the exception with 1 bushel decline.
  • Surface soil moisture improved marginally with less than 1 point increase to 19% good or excellent. Sub soil moisture ratings declined to 15% good or excellent (- 3 points).
  • Pasture/hay ratings were virtually unchanged with 11% of region rated good or excellent.
Region Five: Peace River (Fairview, Falher, Grande Prairie, Valleyview)
  • Region received variable precipitation from light, spotty showers to 50 mm of rain. Heavy frost reported.
  • 23% of crops swathed; 6% combined (+ 4 percentage points for the week).
  • Regional yield estimates declined marginally to 83.1% of 5 year yield average. Yield estimates declined by approximately 0.5 bushels/acre. The exception was field pea yield which increased approximately 1 bushel/acre.
  • Surface and sub soil moisture ratings were reported as unchanged at 26% rated good or excellent.
  • Pasture/hay ratings declined 1 percentage point to 15% rated good or excellent.

James Wright, Risk Analyst

Agriculture Financial Services Corporation
Actuarial, Analytics & Forecasting Unit
Lacombe, Alberta
Telephone: (403)782-8336

August 28, 2015

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This information published to the web on August 28, 2015.
Last Reviewed/Revised on September 4, 2015.