Crop Conditions as of July 24, 2018

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Crop Conditions as of July 24, 2018

Provincial crop conditions have dropped over 7 points from last week. Northwest. Northeast and Peace regions saw minimal changes, while the South and Central have been most affected (See Table 1). The hot dry weather and limited rainfall played a part in the decline in these two regions. Although the Northeast and Northwest have experienced varied weather including ample rainfall for the most part, the crop conditions remained the same as last week. With the exception of the northern tip, the Peace region has
experienced significant rainfall this past week and producers in this area are hoping for some sunshine (See Map). Recent
thunderstorms have brought hail across the province causing a spectrum of crop damage.

The first dryland yields are now being reported. The current provincial estimate is surprisingly showing only a 1 per cent difference
than the 10 year index (See Table 2). Random areas have received timely rains to promote and maintain average crop growth. As a percent of the long term normal, Peace, Northwest and Northeast region yields are notably above the provincial average, Central is on par, and South region is well below average. Based on the current volatile crop conditions, at this point these yield projections will likely see an adjustment.

The wet conditions in some areas are hampering haying operations. Hay supplies and pasture still remain a concern for livestock
producers. The pasturing of poorer crops has occurred, and several crops are being cut for feed. In some areas ranchers are already relying on feed and the probability of livestock being brought home early is evident.

The 2018 Alberta Crop Report Series continues to provide summaries for the following five regions:

Region One: Southern (Strathmore, Lethbridge, Medicine Hat, Foremost)
  • Another week of hot and dry conditions with only a few localized showers and hail storms. Hail damage
    ranges from minimal to severe. The lack of moisture has hurt the crops and fields are showing signs of
    drought and heat stress.
  • Crop development is progressing rapidly. After a late start to flowering, many canola fields are losing their
    bloom and podding. Oilseeds and pulses are well into podding, while spring cereals are in early milk stage.
  • Overall crop conditions rated as good or excellent have dropped from 57 per cent to 45 per cent.
  • First cut hay is essentially complete and yields on dryland (irrigated data) are 0.9 (2.4) tons per acre with
    quality rated 48 (73) per cent good and excellent. Second cut is underway.
  • The lack of subsoil has hurt the pastures. Only 28 per cent of pasture is rated as good or excellent.
Region Two: Central (Rimbey, Airdrie, Coronation, Oyen)
  • Hail throughout region with varied damage. Hot dry windy conditions with erratic rain ranging from zero to
    2.5 inches. The areas with heavy drought pressure are experiencing crop setbacks.
  • Spring seeded cereals are in the late flowering stage while over half the canola crops are into podding stage
    and pulses are over 75 per cent podded.
  • Overall crop conditions rated as good or excellent have dropped from 64 per cent to 52 per cent.
  • First cut hay is approximately 90 per cent complete and yields on dryland (irrigated data) are 0.9 (2.0) tons
    per acre with quality rated 71 (90) per cent good and excellent. Second cut is about to get underway.
  • Pasture is looking better in areas that did receive moisture and other areas are browning with stunted
Region Three: North East (Smoky Lake, Vermilion, Camrose, Provost)
  • Most of the region experienced heavy thunderstorms with rain and hail. Timely rain in areas has promoted
    average growth, while random pockets remain quite dry possibly impacting crop yields.
  • Spring cereals are in late flowering stage, canola predominately in the flowering stage with peas at over 90
    per cent podded. Early seeded peas are drying down ahead of normal.
  • Crop conditions across the region have remained static at 84 per cent.
  • Rain throughout the week has delayed haying leaving the area at 59 per cent complete. Although 66 per
    cent of hay quality is reported as good or excellent, yields are coming in at 1 ton per acre.
  • Modest pasture conditions this week are consistent compared to last week.
Region Four: North West (Barrhead, Edmonton, Leduc, Drayton Valley, Athabasca)
  • Fickle rains and localized hail storms have created a situation of extreme variables in crop conditions
    throughout the region. Conditions have varied from extreme heat to thunderstorms with heavy rain and
    reduced temperatures. Crops are advancing more or less on schedule.
  • Spring cereals are in the late flowering stage with reports of tillers having dried off and heads forming in
    drought conditions. Canola is flowering while peas are nearly finished podding.
  • Crop conditions are relative to last week moving from 68 to 67 per cent.
  • First cut hay has slowed as patchy rains and high humidity has made haying difficult. Second cut hay will
    be poor with most areas having limited production. Haying is 73 per cent complete with yields of 1 ton per
    acre and 66 per cent quality rated as good or excellent.
  • Overall pasture growth is poor due to drought conditions and some producers will have to cut more silage
    than normal.
Region Five: Peace River (Fairview, Falher, Grande Prairie, Valleyview)
  • Excessive rain ranging from 2 to 4 inches resulted in standing water in some areas with the exception of
    Mackenzie County which could use a shower or two. Crops need warmer weather to progress.
  • Spring cereals are in the mid-flowering stage, canola is flowering while peas have just begun podding.
  • Crop conditions have neither improved nor depreciated from last week.
  • 60 per cent of first cut hay is complete with yields at 1.6 tons per acre and quality rated as 77 per cent good
    or excellent.
  • Pasture conditions remain the same as last week at 80 per cent good or excellent.

Z. Sangster & J. Sanden Product Coordinators
Agriculture Financial Services Corporation
Business Risk Management Products Unit
Lacombe, Alberta

July 27, 2018

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 2018 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 July 27, 2018.