Crop Conditions as of August 1, 2017 (Abbreviated Report)

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Crop Conditions as of August 1, 2017 (Abbreviated Report)

Provincial Crop Condition ratings declined a further 3 percentage points on the week to 57% rated good or excellent as hot, dry weather continued throughout the South region and has broadened its hold in the Central region. Crop conditions declined 6 points in the South and recorded a significant 14 point drop in the Central region (See Table #1). Harvest is underway throughout the South region on winter cereals, field peas and early barley. Crops in the Central are under stress due to the dry conditions with harvest still several weeks away.

In the northern half of the province, Crop Condition ratings showed little change from last week. More precipitation fell in the North East and North West regions especially in the areas north of Highway #16, further exasperating the problem of wet fields and standing water. In the Peace, conditions were generally warm and dry benefitting crop development though grasshoppers have become a problem throughout the region with damage assessment above economic thresholds.

Precipitation in the South would likely be of little benefit to dryland crops as most are past the filling stage but could be extremely beneficial to crops in the Central region especially in the western portion if it came very soon. Overall, soil moisture ratings declined modestly principally due to the drying in the Central region (See Table #2).

Hay/pasture ratings declined to 53% rated good or excellent from 58% last week. Current ratings are: 19% Poor; 28% Fair; 34% Good; 19% Excellent.

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

Region One: Southern (Strathmore, Lethbridge, Medicine Hat, Foremost)
  • Condition ratings on spr. wheat dropped 4 percentage points, canola was down 6 points on the week.
  • Anticipating regional yield decline of 10 – 20% below long term averages due principally to the season long stress placed on crops by the high temperatures experienced which accelerated crop development. Though precipitation was lacking throughout much of the season, soil moisture for much of the growing season was adequate to produce a near average crop under normal conditions.
  • Pasture/hay conditions rated poorly at 22% good or excellent due to poor regrowth.
Region Two: Central (Rimbey, Airdrie, Coronation, Oyen)
  • Condition ratings on spring wheat dropped 11 points, canola down 17 points compared to last week.
  • Though conditions are drying out, temperatures have not been overly stressful on plant development until of late, providing the potential of yields being close to regional averages.
  • Pasture/hay ratings fell to 29% good or excellent from 43% last week.
Region Three: North East (Smoky Lake, Vermilion, Camrose, Provost)
  • Precipitation amounts of 25-60 mm in the north tier, lesser amounts in southern portion of region.
  • Crop condition rating on barley rose nearly 2 points while declining 1 point for spr. wheat and canola.
  • Yields are expected to be extremely variable throughout the region this year. Precipitation has not been lacking in the region with only a few minor exceptions. Temperatures have been less extreme than in more southerly areas which will benefit yield from a crop development standpoint. On the negative side, the wet spring slowed seeding which will negatively affect yield. Many areas have seen excessive moisture which creates stress on the plant and affects yield, so the capability of the land to handle moisture will be key to how it will yield.
  • Pasture/hay conditions declined modestly to 86% rated good or excellent from 88% last week.
Region Four: North West (Barrhead, Edmonton, Leduc, Drayton Valley, Athabasca)
  • Precipitation amounts of 20 – 60 mm through much of the region above Highway #16. South of this line has seen less precipitation of late and soils are beginning to dry out.
  • Crop condition ratings fell by less than 1 point for all major crops this week.
  • Anticipating extremely variable yields across this region based upon late seeding and high soil moisture content during the entire growing season. Situation very similar to North East.
  • Pasture/hay condition ratings were unchanged for the week at 83% rated good or excellent.
Region Five: Peace River (Fairview, Falher, Grande Prairie, Valleyview)
  • Hot weather this week with spotty thunder storms which should benefit crop development.
  • Crop condition ratings rose 2 points on the barley this week but fell approximately 1 point on the spring wheat and canola.
  • Anticipating average to slightly above average yields this year in the region. From the negative point of view, seeding was late and the crop had to endure poor growing conditions early. From the positive, temperatures have generally been moderate and soil moisture has been good throughout much of the growing season placing less stress on crop development.
  • Grasshoppers are plentiful throughout the region with damage assessments above threshold levels.
  • Pasture/hay ratings declined 2 points to 76% rated good or excellent.
Agriculture Financial Services Corporation
James Wright, Risk Analyst
Actuarial, Analytics & Forecasting Unit
Phone: 403-782-8336
Lacombe, Alberta

August 4, 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 information published to the web on August 4, 2017.