Crop Conditions as of August 22, 2017

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Crop Conditions as of August 22, 2017

A week of warm and relatively dry weather throughout the province benefited crop development in the northern regions and allowed harvest to progress rapidly in the South. Crop Conditions have stabilized at 54% rated good or excellent, down less than 2 points on the week (See Table #1). Provincial harvest progress has advanced to 6% swathed and 12% combined, virtually exclusively on progress in the South region. The 5 year harvest average is 11% swathed and 6% harvested (See Table #2). Harvest progress is approximately 10 days ahead in the South, average in the Central, and 10-14 days behind in the North. A long frost free fall will be needed to allow crops to mature in many areas in the North.

Provincial dryland yields will be down 5-10% from their 5 year averages and 15-20% below 2016 (See Table #3). The South region has been the most affected by the weather this year resulting in dryland yield reductions of 25-30% from the 5 year average and 25-30% below last year. Significant reductions in quality are also noted. The expanding dry conditions in the Central region has projected yields down 10-15% below their 5 year averages and 20-25% below last year. Yields in the remainder of province are expected to be average to slightly above but 5-10% below last year.

2nd cut dryland haying is well underway with 33% completed. The lack of good pasture in the South due to the drought is expected to force cow-calf producers to provide supplemental feed earlier than usual.

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

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

  • Dryland crop ratings of 34% good/excellent are well below both 5 year & long term averages of 75% good/exc.
  • Harvest progress at 14% swathed & 36% combined versus 5 year average of 15% swathed & 15% harvested.
  • Harvest is underway on irrigated special crops with early potatoes at 2% dug with average yields anticipated and dry beans at 45% undercut. No beans harvested at this time. Anticipating above average yield.
  • No 2nd cut dryland hay; 2nd cut irrigated hay at 80% completed with very good quality & yield.
  • 64% of pastures rated poor, 22% fair. 62% of hay fields rated poor; 23% fair.
Region Two: Central (Rimbey, Airdrie, Coronation, Oyen)
  • Crop condition ratings of 20% poor, 45% fair, 35% good in east portion; 20% poor, 35% fair, 45% good in central portion; 40% fair & 60% good in west part of the region.
  • Harvest progress at 6% swathed & 3% combined compared to 5 year average of 9% swathed & 3% harvested.
  • Harvest to date has been principally winter cereals (59% harvested) & field peas (24% harvested).
  • Dryland 2nd cut haying at 45% completed. 92% rated good/excellent for quality.
  • 45% of pastures & 40% of hay land rated poor for growth.
Region Three: North East (Smoky Lake, Vermilion, Camrose, Provost)
  • Crop condition ratings virtually unchanged from last week at 79% good or excellent.
  • Harvest progress is minimal to date at 1% swathed and 1% combined compared to 5 year average of 8% swathed & 1% combined. Harvested crops to date are winter cereals (98%) and field peas (19%).
  • Yields are projected to be 5-10% above their 5 year averages though approximately 5% under 2016.
  • Dryland 2nd cut hay is 18% completed with very good quality.
  • Excessive soil moisture continues to be an issue in the region with a 28% rating.
  • 80% of hay and pastures rated good or excellent.
Region Four: North West (Barrhead, Edmonton, Leduc, Drayton Valley, Athabasca)
  • Crop condition ratings declined marginally.
  • Harvest progress will be delayed this year due to late seeding and wet conditions this summer as many crops are yet 10-21 days away from being ready to harvest. Small amount of early seeded peas have been combined.
  • Harvest progress of 0% swathed and 0% combined compared to 5 year average of 7% swathed & 2% combined. Yield estimates anticipate spring wheat yields will be average; barley, oat and canola yields will be 5% below average; field pea yields 10-15% below average. Yields will be approximately 10% below last year.
  • Harvest of dryland 2nd cut hay is 11% completed. Over 90% of the hay is rated good or excellent for quality.
  • Surface soil moisture is rated 29% excessive.
  • 82% of hay and pastures rated good or excellent.
Region Five: Peace River (Fairview, Falher, Grande Prairie, Valleyview)
  • Crop condition ratings improved 2 points from last week to 61% rated good or excellent as warm, dry weather benefited crop development and dry down.
  • The start to harvest is approximately a week later this year showing the effect of seeding delays this spring. 6% of crops have been swathed with 2% harvested versus the 5 year average of 16% swathed & 6% harvested.
  • Current yield estimates are quite variable with spring wheat and field peas estimates slightly above average; canola yields estimated at 20% above average; barley & oat yields at 10% below average.
  • Soil moisture conditions remain very good with both surface and sub soil moisture rated 75% good or excellent. Only 4% of region is rated as excessive.
  • 75% of hay and pastures in the region are rated good or excellent.
Agriculture Financial Services Corporation
James Wright, Risk Analyst
Actuarial, Analytics & Forecasting Unit
Phone: 403-782-8336
Lacombe, Alberta

August 25, 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 August 25, 2017.
Last Reviewed/Revised on September 1, 2017.