Alberta Crop Report - June 30, 2011

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

The June 30, 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

Weather has been virtually ideal over the past 2 week period. Dry, warm weather prevailed across the south and central regions. The drier North East, North West and Peace regions received significant precipitation approaching excessive in some areas followed by average to slightly above average temperatures.

Crop condition ratings have increased for all crops with the improved weather but crop development remains behind long term averages due to the slow start to seeding and the below average temperatures experienced in May and the first half of June in all regions.

Provincial Crop Condition Ratings (June 30, 2011)

First cut haying is getting underway approximately 7 – 10 days later than normal with progress very similar to last year. First cut dryland haying is estimated to be 3.7% complete with irrigated hay at 8.2% completed. Approximately 80% of pasture and hay land in the province is rated good/excellent, up 13% from the last report of June 16th.

Surface and sub surface soil moisture ratings have improved significantly due principally to the precipitation received in the northerly regions. Excessive moisture has now become an issue in the North East, North West and Peace regions.

Provincial Sub Surface Soil Moisture Ratings (June 30, 2011)

Region One: South (Strathmore, Lethbridge, Medicine Hat, Foremost)
Average to slightly above average temperatures prevailed across the region. Crop condition ratings have improved slightly with approximately 80% of the crops rated good/excellent while surface and sub surface soil ratings remain very good.

Crop development is estimated to be 10-14 days delayed at this time, similar to 2010. Most spring cereals which should be entering the boot stage are currently averaging the early stem elongation stage. Winter wheat, which should in early to mid pollination, averages early head emergence. Canola and field peas should be 55% flowered, they currently average 5 – 10% flowered. Leaf diseases are reported on winter wheat which will reduce its yield potential by 15 – 25%.

Dryland haying is starting and irrigated haying is 9% completed. Pasture/hay crop ratings have improved to 0% poor/ 8% fair/ 48% good/ 44% excellent.

Region Two: Central (Rimbey, Airdrie, Coronation, Oyen)
Warmer weather with average to slightly above average temperatures has provided ideal conditions across much of central Alberta. Crops are rated highly with over 90% rated in good/excellent condition. Crop development is 10 - 14 days behind normal with cereals entering the stem elongation stage which should be entering the boot stage and canola/field peas at 5 – 10% flowering compared to the long term average of 35%.

First cut dryland haying is nicely underway with 16% completed compared to 10% last year. Pasture/hay conditions are rated 0% poor/ 2% fair/ 48% good/ 50% excellent.

Region Three: North East (Smoky Lake, Vermilion, Camrose, Provost)
The region received significant precipitation in amounts of 50 – 200 mm. The precipitation was greatly needed as the region was becoming extremely dry but excessive moisture has become an issue in the areas which received the higher accumulations. Crop condition ratings have improved significantly with the precipitation. Crop development has been significantly delayed, first by the slow start due to the cool spring temperatures and secondly by the dry conditions. Crops are approximately 14 days behind in development. Cereals are still in the late tillering stage when they should be entering the boot stage while canola and field peas are only starting to flower when normally flowering would be 40% completed by this time.

Dryland haying has not begun and likely will be 4 – 7 days from starting. Pasture/hay condition ratings have improved to 22% poor/ 30% fair/ 42% good/ 6% excellent, a 21point increase in the good/excellent percentage from June 16.

Region Four: North West (Barrhead, Edmonton, Leduc, Drayton Valley, Athabasca)
Significant precipitation fell across the region in amounts of 75 – 200 mm. The moisture was very beneficial as the region was getting very dry but excessive moisture is now an issue in the higher rainfall areas. The warmer weather of the past week should be helpful in drying things up. Crop conditions have improved with the precipitation though not to the same extent as the improvement in the NE region as conditions in the NW were a little less concerning. Crop development is approximately 7 days behind the long term normal with cereals in the early to mid stem elongation stage compared to being in the early boot stage and canola/field peas starting to flower versus being 30% completed by this date.

Dryland haying has begun with less than 1% completed. Pasture/hay condition ratings have improved significantly with the precipitation to 2% poor/ 23% fair/ 53% good/ 22% excellent, up approximately 19 points in the good/excellent ratings from June 16.

Region Five: Peace River (Fairview, Falher, Grande Prairie, Valleyview)
Heavy precipitation of 100 – 200 mm fell across south and central portions of the region placing crops under stress due to excess moisture. Light precipitation was reported across the drier northern portion. Crop condition ratings declined slightly over the past two week period though 75 – 80% of crops continue to be rated as good or excellent. Crop development is approximately 7 days behind the long term average with cereals averaging the mid stem elongation stage versus entering the boot stage and canola/field peas at 5% flowering as compared to the historical average of 30% flowering.

First cut dryland haying should be starting shortly. Pasture/hay condition ratings have shown significant improvement with the precipitation to 0% poor/ 15% fair/ 43% good/ 42% excellent. The region is reporting grasshopper problems with 23.5% of the region rating the infestation as moderate and 11.5% rating the infestation as above damage threshold limits requiring spraying.

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

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This information published to the web on July 6, 2011.