Crop Conditions as of July 25, 2017

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Crop Conditions as of July 25, 2017

Crop condition ratings declined a further 4 points this week to 60% good/excellent, compared to the 5 year average of 74%. Hot, dry weather continues to cover the South region and is now affecting significant portions of the east half of the Central region and parts of the NE region. Heavy rains across northern portions of the North East and North West regions have again placed crops under stress due to excessive moisture. Light showers throughout much of the Peace helped maintain crop condition ratings in the region (See Table #1). Current provincial ratings remain well above those of the worst 2 years in the past 10 year period, being 2009 (23% g/e) and 2015 (30% g/e).

Provincial soil moisture ratings showed a significant decline due to worsening dry conditions in the Central region and an increase to excessive moisture ratings in the North East and North West. Surface moisture is currently rated 47% good/excellent. Subsoil moisture is rated 55% good/excellent. Hay/pasture ratings declined 7 points to 58% good/excellent with significant declines seen in all regions except the Peace region.

The first set of dryland yield estimates have been completed (See Table #2). Based on the current conditions, overall yield is projected to be in line with the 5 year average (2012-2016) which includes the bumper year of 2013. It should be noted that the dry conditions in 2015 had an overall effect on yield of approximately 10% below the 5 year average.

Regional Assessments:
The 2017 Alberta Crop Report Series continues to provide summaries for the following five regions:

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

  • Crops continue to be under stress due to high temperatures and lack of precipitation. Precip amounts were down 30% in May & 20% in June from average. July rainfall only 30% of normal for the month. Average temperature in July is almost 3 C above normal and average max temperature is 30 C, 4 degrees above normal.
  • Crop development is progressing rapidly toward maturity. Reports of harvest operations started on winter cereals, field peas and barley.
  • Crop Condition Ratings fell 5 points. Biggest declines were to oats (-12), barley (-11) and canola (-9 points).
  • Preliminary dryland yield estimates down 15-20 percentage points from 2016.
  • 1st cut dryland haying completed @ 1.4 tons/ac. 87% rated good or excellent for quality. No 2nd cut expected.
  • 1st cut irrigated haying completed @ 3.2 tons/ac. 93% rated good/excellent quality. 59% completed on 2nd cut.
Region Two: Central (Rimbey, Airdrie, Coronation, Oyen)
  • Warm conditions with light showers in the region. Dry conditions are intensifying in the central & east portions.
  • Spring cereals in late pollination; winter cereals in early dough stage; canola 45% flowering & 55% podding.
  • Crop Condition Ratings declined 7-8 points for all crops as dry conditions encompassed more of the region.
  • Surface moisture rated 52% good/excellent (down 10 points); subsoil moisture rated 55% g/e (down 13 points).
  • 1st cut dryland haying 86% completed @1.6 ton/acre. 75% rated g/e for quality. 2nd cut will occur in west only.
Region Three: North East (Smoky Lake, Vermilion, Camrose, Provost)
  • Heavy rain of 80-150 mm across north tier. Lesser amounts of 40-75 mm in south portion of region. 34% of region now rated excessive for moisture from 24% last week.
  • Small regional decline in crop rating. Barley declined 6 points; oats declined 4 points on the week.
  • Spr. wheat averaging mid pollination, barley& oats in late head emergence. Canola 55% flower/45% podding.
  • 1st cut haying 77% complete @ 1.8 ton/ac. 79% of crop rated good/excellent for quality. 2nd cut anticipated.
  • Surface moisture rated 57% g/e, 34% excessive. Subsoil moisture rated 60% g/e, 35% excessive.
Region Four: North West (Barrhead, Edmonton, Leduc, Drayton Valley, Athabasca)
  • Heavy rain of 100-150 mm across north tier. Lesser amounts of 40-50 mm in south portion of region. 32% of region now rated excessive for moisture from 23% last week. Strong winds induced lodging in many crops.
  • Cereal crops in early pollination; Canola 78% flowering/22% podding.
  • Minimal improvement in crop condition rating. Spr. wheat fell 1 point, canola improved 2 points.
  • 1st cut haying 82% complete @ 2.1 ton/ac. 82% of hay rated good/excellent for quality.
  • Surface moisture rated 52 g/e, 32% excessive. Sub soil moisture rated 68% g/e, 22% excessive.
Region Five: Peace River (Fairview, Falher, Grande Prairie, Valleyview)
  • Light showers & hail reported across much of the region with 35-60 mm rains in the extreme north portion.
  • Little change to crop condition ratings with small improvement to canola & small declines to barley & wheat.
  • Cereals in early pollination, canola 83% flowering/17% podding.
  • Grasshoppers are an issue in many parts of the region.
  • 1st cut haying 82% completed @ 1.3 ton/ac. 84% of the crop rated g/e for quality. No 2nd cut anticipated.
  • Surface moisture rated 82% g/e, 6% excessive. Subsoil moisture rated 78% g/e, 6% excessive.
Agriculture Financial Services Corporation
James Wright, Risk Analyst
Actuarial, Analytics & Forecasting Unit
Phone: 403-782-8336
Lacombe, Alberta
July 28, 2017

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 2017 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 July 28, 2017.
Last Reviewed/Revised on August 4, 2017.