Alberta Crop Report - August 25, 2011

Subscribe to our free E-Newsletter, "Agri-News" (formerly RTW This Week)Agri-News
This Week
 This information has been made available by Agriculture Financial Services Corporation.

The August 25, 2011 Crop Report is also available as a PDF file on the AFSC website.

Prepared by:
James Wright
Business Risk Management Division
Actuarial & Program Readiness
AFSC, Lacombe
Telephone: (403)782-8336

Hot, dry weather experienced over the past 2 weeks has crops quickly approaching maturity. Early harvest operations have gotten underway in the South, Central and Peace regions principally, with 4.8% of the province swathed and 1.5% combined. In 2010, 2.1% of the province had been combined. Historically, 9.1% of the province has been combined by this time. Crop condition ratings have declined slightly since last report but over 75% of the cereals and field peas and 65% of the canola continues to be rated as good or excellent. Yield expectations have declined slightly on reductions in the South and Peace regions but remain at 5 – 10% above historical averages.

Provincial Harvest Progress (% Swathed & Combined)

Sub soil moisture ratings have declined slightly though 83% of the province continues to be rated as good/excellent. Current ratings are < 1% poor; 13% fair; 42% good; 41% excellent; 4% excessive.

Provincial Crop Condition Ratings (% Rated Good/Excellent)

Producers are finally nearing the completion of 1st cut hay harvest in northerly areas. The delays experienced in harvesting the first cut and the drier weather in August will negatively affect the ability of dryland producers to harvest a 2nd cut in many areas. Hay/Pasture ratings are 3% poor; 23% fair; 45% good; 29% excellent.

Region One: South (Strathmore, Lethbridge, Medicine Hat, Foremost)
Following a cool wet spring, dry conditions have been the rule for much of the growing season. Harvest is underway with 8.5% of the crop swathed and 3.5% combined. In 2010, 2.3% of the crops had been harvested while historically, 17% of crops would be harvested by late August. The continuing dry conditions have resulted in a reduction in expected yield across all crops though yield estimates remain above long term averages. Despite the dry conditions, crop growth ratings of good/excellent remain at 85% or better for all crops.

Pasture and hay growth continues to be rated highly with 82% rated in good/excellent condition. 2nd cut dryland hay harvest is 40% complete though the number of acres has been severely reduced by the dry weather. 2nd cut irrigated hay is nearly 50% completed.

Region Two: Central (Rimbey, Airdrie, Coronation, Oyen)
Harvest has started in the eastern and central portions of the region. It is estimated that 6.2% of the region has been swathed with a further 1.6% combined. In 2010, only 0.2% of the region had been combined. Historically, approximately 6.6% of the region is combined by this time in August. Crop condition ratings have declined but remain high with over 90% rated good/excellent. Crop yield projections have increased slightly with much above average yields expected especially in the eastern and central areas.

A small amount of 2nd cut hay is expected to be harvested in the region. Currently, 20% of the 2nd cut hay has been harvested. Hay/Pasture ratings have declined significantly over the past 2 week period to 6% poor; 32% fair; 31% good; 31% excellent due to the hot dry weather.

Region Three: North East (Smoky Lake, Vermilion, Camrose, Provost)
A very small amount of harvest has occurred to date. Approximately 1.6% of the region has been swathed with 0.2% harvested. In 2010, 0.1% had been harvested while the historical average for late August is 5.3% combined. Crop condition ratings have declined slightly with 65 – 75% of crops rated good/excellent. Second growth is a problem in some areas due to the effects of the weather this year. Yield projections have remained virtually unchanged with an average to slightly above average yield anticipated.

Pasture/Hay growth ratings have declined to 6% poor; 30% fair; 49% good; 15% excellent. Producers are finally cleaning up 1st cut hay which will impact their opportunity to get a 2nd cut due to the lateness.

Region Four: North West (Barrhead, Edmonton, Leduc, Drayton Valley, Athabasca)
Crops are late and virtually no harvest has started at this time with less than 0.1% swathed and no combining reported. In 2010, combining was only 0.4% completed while historically, the region would be 4.1% combined for this period. Crop condition ratings are unchanged over the past two week period with 55 – 60% of cereals and field peas and 40% of canola rated good/excellent. Crop yield projections are unchanged with an above average crop expected.

Producers continue to be hampered by scattered showers, delaying completion of their 1st cut hay harvest which will ultimately affect yield and timing of a 2nd cut crop. Hay/Pasture conditions have declined to 1% poor; 25% fair; 55% good; 19% excellent.

Region Five: Peace River (Fairview, Falher, Grande Prairie, Valleyview)
A small amount of harvest has begun, principally in the north portion of the region which had incurred drier conditions this summer. Much of the south and central portions will require a further 10 – 14 days of frost free weather in order to reach maturity due to the cool, wet conditions experienced this year. To date, 3.2% of the region has been swathed with 0.2% combined. In 2010, combining was 11.2% completed at this time. Historically, 7.9% of the region would be harvested by this time. Crop condition ratings have declined slightly with 55 – 60% rated good/excellent. Yield projections have declined significantly in the past 2 weeks due to the continuing effects of the wet weather in late July/early August and the lateness of the crop to escape significant frost damage. Yield projections have declined to an average crop.

A small amount of 2nd cut hay has been harvested with 11% completed. Hay/Pasture ratings have declined to 2% poor; 12% fair; 33% good; 53% excellent.

Prepared by Agriculture Financial Services Corporation, in cooperation with Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development. For more information, please contact the writer, James Wright.

Share via
For more information about the content of this document, contact Stacey Tames.
This information published to the web on August 30, 2011.