Crop Conditions as of May 10, 2016 (Abbreviated Report)

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Crop Conditions as of May 10, 2016 (Abbreviated Report)

Continuing dry weather throughout much of the province has provided producers with the opportunity to make substantial progress in their seeding operations over the past week. Seeding is estimated to be 45% complete as of May 10, up from 21% last week and well ahead of the 5 year average of 23%. Warm weather during the past week aided emergence with approximately 8% of crops out of the ground. Emergence is most advanced in the South with 24% of crops up, followed by 7% in the Central, 2% in the North East, less than 1% in the North West and 2% in the Peace Regions.

Surface soil moisture ratings declined to 63% of the province rated as poor or fair from 56% last week though moisture levels should be adequate in most areas to support good germination. Very light showers were experienced in the extreme south and western portions of the South Region and amounts of up to 12 mm (one-half inch) fell in the Peace Region. Brisk winds were reported across many areas which enhanced moisture loss from the top layer. Cooler weather is forecast for the upcoming week which will slow moisture loss while anticipated below zero low temperatures provide the potential for some crop damage depending upon severity.

Hay and pastures are in dire need of rain and have been slow to start growth. Precipitation is needed in the near future to maintain the opportunity for an average 1st cut hay crop.

The 2016 Alberta Crop Report Series continues to provide summaries for the following five regions:

Region One: Southern (Strathmore, Lethbridge, Medicine Hat, Foremost)

  • Seeding has progressed to 70% complete, up from 50% last week and the 5 year average of 43%. Last year, seeding was 86% done.
  • Biggest difference between 2016 & 2015 is canola seeding, last year 81% completed, this year 49%.
  • Surface soil moisture ratings declined from 40% good or excellent to 34% over the week. In 2015, 41% of the region was rated good or excellent
Region Two: Central (Rimbey, Airdrie, Coronation, Oyen)
  • Seeding has progressed to 51% complete compared to 19% last week and the 5 year average of 23%. 51% had been seeded by this date in 2015.
  • Seeding progress very similar across the crops between the past two years.
  • Surface soil moisture rated at 42% good or excellent, a significant decline from 60% rated good or excellent last week. 48% of region was rated good or excellent in 2015.
Region Three: North East (Smoky Lake, Vermilion, Camrose, Provost)
  • Seeding has progressed to 32% complete compared to 2% last week and the 5 year average of 12%. Last year, seeding was 30% completed by this date.
  • Seeding progress very similar across crops between the last two years.
  • 41% of region rated good or excellent for surface soil moisture, down from 48% last week. In 2015, surface soil moisture in the region was rated at 82% good or excellent.
Region Four: North West (Barrhead, Edmonton, Leduc, Drayton Valley, Athabasca)
  • Region is 26% seeded compared to 3% last week and the 5 year average of 12%. Seeding was 28% complete in 2015.
  • Spring wheat seeding is 10% behind last year while field pea seeding is 13% ahead of last year. The region is extremely dry with only 3% rated good or excellent for surface soil moisture. This is down from 5% last week. Last year at this time, 58% of the region was rated good or excellent.
  • Subsoil moisture will be an issue in the future if the dry conditions continue as 92% of region is rated poor or fair.
Region Five: Peace River (Fairview, Falher, Grande Prairie, Valleyview)
  • The entire region received some precipitation this past week though amounts were less than needed.
  • Seeding is progressing faster this year than last at 30% completed compared to 19% last year and the 5 year average of 8%. In 2015, seeding was slow to get underway due principally to slow soil warming caused by the cool spring temperatures.
  • Surface soil moisture ratings improved to 50% rated good or excellent this week with the precipitation, an increase from 44% last week. Last year, 62% of the region was rated good or excellent.
  • The Peace currently rates as one of the best regions in the province for surface soil moisture.
  • Subsoil moisture could be an issue in the future as it currently rates below the provincial average.

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

May 13, 2016.

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 2016 Alberta crop reporting series is available on the Internet at:$department/deptdocs.nsf/all/sdd4191

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This document is maintained by Rita Splawinski.
This information published to the web on May 13, 2016.
Last Reviewed/Revised on June 2, 2016.