Alberta Crop Report - May 17, 3012

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

The May 17, 2012 Crop Report is also available as a PDF file on the AFSC website.

With 2 weeks of very favourable weather across the entire province, producers have been able to make significant progress as 55% of seeding is now completed, similar to 2011 but behind the 5 year average of 67%. Approximately 10% of the crop has emerged with the bulk of the emergence occurring in southern Alberta. Flea beetle populations on canola are being monitored closely as a high infestation is anticipated which may require mitigation.

Table #1: Regional Seeding Progress & Emergence by Crop (May 17/12)

With the warm, dry weather, soils have been drying down. Surface moisture conditions declined to 63% rated good/excellent from 75% on May 3. Excessive moisture ratings have dropped to near zero especially in the Peace River region. Subsoil moisture ratings have declined from 80% rated good/excellent to 71% due to significant reductions to ratings in the North East and North West regions.

Table #2: Regional Soil Moisture Ratings (May 17/12)

Hay and pasture crops have shown significant improvement with the warm weather and adequate moisture conditions with 82% rated good/excellent, up from 72% on May 3. Provincially, they are rated 2% poor; 16% fair; 67% good; 15% excellent.

Region One: South (Strathmore, Lethbridge, Medicine Hat, Foremost)
Seeding is beginning to wind down with 86% completed, ahead of the 5 year average of 73%. Approximately 26% of the acres have emerged. Soil moisture conditions are very good across the region with 79% rated good/excellent for sub soil moisture down only slightly from 81% on May 3. Hay and pasture ratings have improved slightly to 89% rated good/excellent from 86%.

Region Two: Central (Rimbey, Airdrie, Coronation, Oyen)
The region has benefited greatly with the warm, dry weather. Seeding operations got off to a slow start this spring and this trend continues with only 48% seeded in comparison to the 5 year average of 68%. Due to the late start, only 5% of the crop has emerged. Seeding conditions are good across the region with good/excellent ratings of 86% for surface and 85% for sub soil moisture. Excessive moisture at 14% on May 3 is no longer an issue. The warm weather has hay and pastures off to a good start with 90% rated good/excellent, up from 74% in the last report.

Region Three: North East (Smoky Lake, Vermilion, Camrose, Provost)
Approximately 35% of the region has been seeded, well behind the 5 year average of 64%. Only 2% of the crops have emerged. Windy conditions have caused significant soil moisture losses with surface moisture ratings dropping to 40% good/excellent (75% on May 3) and sub soil moisture falling to 48% good/excellent (75% on May 3). Hay and pastures have benefited from the warm weather with 67% rated good/excellent, up from 48%.

Region Four: North West (Barrhead, Edmonton, Leduc, Drayton Valley, Athabasca)
The region has made very good seeding progress due to the warm, dry conditions with 54% seeded but behind the 5 year average of 68%. Windy conditions have had a significant effect on soil moisture with surface moisture ratings falling to 23% good/excellent from 91% on May 3 and sub soil ratings dropping to 50% good/excellent from 88%. Pastures and hay crops are good though ratings declined to 55% rated good/excellent (60% on May 3) but with a significant movement from the poor to fair category with only 4% rated poor compared to 27% two weeks ago.

Region Five: Peace River (Fairview, Falher, Grande Prairie, Valleyview)
Warm, dry and windy weather allowed fields to dry down and for seeding to get underway. Seeding is 37% completed, well behind the 5 year average of 55%. Nothing has emerged. Surface moisture has improved significantly with 82% of the region rated good/excellent (up from 38% on May 3) and excessive moisture has dropped from 62% to near zero. Sub soil moisture is rated at 88% good/excellent. Hay and pastures continue to be rated at 100% good/excellent and have benefited from the warmer weather with a strong move into the excellent category to 33% from 1% in the last report.

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

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 May 23, 2012.