Alberta Crop Report - August 28, 2008

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 This information has been made available by Agriculture Financial Services Corporation.

The August 28, 2008 Crop Report is also available as a PDF file on the AFSC website.

Prepared by:
James Wright
Project Manager
Research and Program Development
Lacombe, AB
Telephone: 403-782-8336

The past two weeks saw a return to cooler, more seasonal temperatures across the province accompanied by light precipitation. Harvest operations have been slow to get underway as crop development in most regions continues to run 10 – 14 days later than average and are entering a period of extreme frost risk. Currently, approximately 7.5% of the crops in the province have been harvested with a further 20% in the swath. Harvest to date has been principally winter cereals and field peas. Most crops are a minimum of 10 – 15% swathed with canola at 45% swathed. Provincial yield projections remain very much in line with the projections of July 31st.

Sub soil moisture ratings have declined slightly to 35% rated good/excellent from 38% two weeks ago. Sub soil moisture is rated 32% poor/ 33% fair/ 33% good/ 2% excellent. Pasture and hay condition ratings are declining as well with pastures down 4 points to 28% rated good/excellent and tame hay down 6 points to 30% rated good/excellent. The precipitation over the past couple of weeks has slowed the second cut hay harvest. 42% of the dryland crop and 69% of the irrigated crop have been harvested. There are reports of 3rd cut irrigated production being harvested.

Southern Alberta
Yield projections continue to show the potential for above average yields for the region. Virtually all crops are rated at 75 – 80% good/excellent condition. Yield projections have increased with wheats up 1 bu/acre, barley up 3 bu/acre, canola up 0.5 bu/acre and field peas up 4 bu/acre from the initial yield projections of July 31st. Harvest operations are later this year due to the cool spring and summer conditions. Currently, it is estimated that 18% of the region has been swathed and 15% has been combined. Within the region, 35% of the crops have been harvested on the east side, 15% in the central portion and only 4% on the west side of the region.

Central Alberta
A combination of delayed crop development and precipitation over the past 2 week period has harvest operations off to a very slow start. Currently, 17% of the region has been swathed and 5% combined. The cooler west side of the region has seen very little swathing and virtually no harvesting with the exception of a small amount of field peas.

55 – 65% of all crops are rated in good/excellent condition with less than 10% rated poor. Yield projections have improved slightly, up 0.5 – 1 bu/acre from initial levels and indicate an average to slightly above average yield potential.

North East Alberta
The region received widespread precipitation which will benefit pastures but will have little or no effect on crops or hay. Currently, 27% of the crops have been swathed with 6% combined, principally field peas. Latest production estimates indicate a below average yield potential with revised yield estimates down 1 – 2 bushels/acre from the initial yields of July 31st.

North West Alberta
Most areas are dry with some isolated precipitation reported in the region. Currently, approximately 28% of the crops have been swathed with 3% combined. Current projections are for slightly above average production for the region as spring wheat and barley projected yields have been raised 2 and 4 bu/acre respectively, while projected canola and field pea yields remain unchanged.

Peace River Region
Light precipitation across southern and central portions of the region has caused some harvest delays. Currently, approximately 23% of the crops have been swathed and 12% combined. Due to the dryness experienced in the southern and central areas much of this summer, production estimates continue to project for below average to much below average yields. The difference will depend on if the field received a shower during the growing season or not. The exception is the northern portion of the region which is anticipating an above average crop due to good moisture conditions throughout the season.

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For more information about the content of this document, contact Stacey Tames.
This information published to the web on September 3, 2008.