Alberta Yield Potential Holding Up 




Alberta yield potential is holding up well, even as crop conditions slipped slightly over the past two weeks. 


The latest bi-weekly crop report on Friday pegged this year’s average spring wheat yield in the province at 53 bu/acre, way up from 36.7 bu last year and above the provincial five- and 10-year averages of about 45 bu. Canola is seen yielding an average of 40.5 bu/acre, versus 27.7 bu in 2021 and the five- and 10-year averages of 37.5 and 38 bu. 


At about 72 bu/acre, the average expected barley yield is up from 47.4 bu a year ago, while oats are forecast to yield 86 bu/acre, compared to 58.7 in 2021. Peas are seen at 44.4 bu/acre, versus 23.7 bu last year.  


All yield estimates are little changed compared to the province’s initial forecasts two weeks ago. 


Meanwhile, overall crop conditions in the province were estimated at 70% good to excellent as of Tuesday, down 2 points from a week earlier although still well above the five-year average of 56% and the 10-year average of 64%. 


Rainfall was variable, the report said, with some areas getting over 30 mm while parts of the Southern and Central regions received less than 5 mm. Meanwhile, above-normal temperatures have contributed to crop development but also dried out soils in many locations across southern Alberta. 


Crop conditions declined in all regions, except for the North West where the lack of rain and heat helped to dry excessive moisture. Crop conditions in the North West are now the best in the province at 83% good to excellent, followed by the North East at 82%, the Central at 78%, the Peace at 68% and finally the South at 51%. 


In terms of individual crops, oats are in the best condition at 81% good to excellent, with spring wheat at 77%, barley at 71%, and canola and dry peas at 69%. The flax crop is rated 67% good to excellent, followed by lentils at 51%, mustard at 47% and durum at the bottom at 46%. 


Spring seeded cereals across the province are mostly in the beginning of the dough stage of development stage, while fall seeded crops are in the ripening stage. About 90% of canola and 99% of dry peas, lentils and chickpeas are in the podding stage. Harvest operations have begun for fall-seeded crops and pulses in the South and Central regions, the report said. 


Region One: South (Strathmore, Lethbridge, Medicine Hat, Foremost)  

Over the past two weeks, dry and hot weather with some thunder showers was the dominant pattern in the region, with severe hail damage reported in some counties. Hot and dry weather has accelerated crop development and may have slightly lowered yield potential. In some fields, crops are in two different stages of development due to additional growth following July rains.  

Harvest has started in some counties, mostly with fall seeded crops, barley and dry peas. Yield estimates are variable across the region, but preliminary estimates are indicating higher than average yields.  

Haying operations benefited from hot weather, and first cut operations for both dryland and irrigated land are virtually complete. Average yield on dryland is estimated at 1.2 tons per acre, marginally above the 5-year average of 1.1 tons per acre, and is 2.2 tons per acre on irrigated land, lower than the 5-year average of 2.4 tons per acre. Of first cut hay, about 42 per cent of dryland hay and 64 per cent of irrigated hay is rated as good or excellent quality. Second cut haying operations are currently underway only in irrigated fields, and 10 per cent complete, with yield at 2.1 tons per acre.  

Pasture growing conditions (tame hay conditions shown in brackets) are now reported as 13 (11) per cent poor, 70 (64) per cent fair and 17 (25) per cent good.  Surface soil moisture is rated (sub-surface soil moisture ratings shown in brackets) at 43 (20) per cent poor, 43 (57) per cent fair, 13 (23) per cent good and 1 (0) per cent excellent.  


Region Two: Central (Rimbey, Airdrie, Coronation, Oyen)  

Crops in most areas are still in good conditions, but more rain is needed to improve soil moisture and fill the crops. Hot weather benefited crops that were behind due to the dry spring, although some canola fields are still in late flowering stage. A hailstorm on August 1 caused severe damage in a few counties. Haying and silaging have been progressing quickly to build up feed reserves.  

Producers are wrapping up first cut hay, with 90 per cent completion for both dryland and irrigated hay, slightly behind normal. For dryland, first cut average yield is estimated at 1.5 tons per acre, and for irrigated, at 2.3 tons per acre (both above the 5-year averages). Quality is rated as 81 per cent good to excellent for dryland hay and 85 per cent good or excellent for irrigated.  

Pasture growing conditions (tame hay conditions shown in brackets) are reported as 12 (10) per cent poor, 23 (21) per cent fair, 61 (64) per cent good and 4 (5) per cent excellent.  

Surface soil moisture is rated (sub-surface soil moisture ratings shown in brackets) at 13 (11) per cent poor, 26 (31) per cent fair, 45 (41) per cent good, and 12 (13) per cent excellent, with 4 (4) per cent excessive.  


Region Three: North East (Smoky Lake, Vermilion, Camrose, Provost)  

Crops are generally developing well in the region. The hot and dry weather two weeks ago advanced, but hurt some crops. However, it was followed by some cooler wet weather last week, helping with filling crops. Although some dry pea fields have yellowed due to excess moisture, producers are starting to desiccate them.  

First cut haying is 92 per cent complete, ahead of the 5-year average of 82 per cent completed at this time. Yield is reported at 1.5 tons per acre, on par with the 5-year average and quality is rated as 19 per cent poor and fair, 81 per cent good and excellent. Second cut hay has not started yet.  

Pasture growing conditions (tame hay conditions shown in brackets) are reported as 5 (9) per cent poor, 32 (26) per cent fair, 56 (58) per cent good and 7 (7) per cent excellent.  Surface soil moisture is reported (sub-surface soil moisture ratings shown in brackets) at 5 (12) per cent poor, 26 (28) per cent fair, 55 (50) per cent good, and 13 (8) per cent excellent, with 1 (2) per cent excessive. 


Region Four: North West (Barrhead, Edmonton, Leduc, Drayton Valley, Athabasca)  

Most parts of the region only received scattered showers, providing time to dry up excess soil moisture, slowing the progression of deterioration in wet spots and drowned out acres, although it is late for some of those crops. Counties in the western and northern parts of the region received more rain. Yields remain variable across the region, as in some areas head size and kernel counts are down. This is attributed to a tough start to the season, drowned out acres, and now lodging in certain acres (mostly barley). Many producers are silaging cereals for feed with a good yield.  

First cut haying is 94 per cent complete (ahead of the average of 82 per cent) with higher than normal yield and better than normal quality. The yield for first cut hay is reported at 1.9 tons per acre, compared to the 5-year average of 1.7 tons per acre, and quality is estimated at 15 per cent poor or fair, 85 per cent good or excellent.  

Pasture growing conditions (tame hay conditions shown in brackets) are reported as 4 (1) per cent poor, 17 (13) per cent fair, 73 (79) per cent good and 6 (7) per cent excellent.  

Surface soil moisture is reported (sub-surface soil moisture ratings shown in brackets) at 3 (0) per cent poor, 13 (15) per cent fair, 63 (72) per cent good, and 19 (13) per cent excellent, with 2 (0) per cent excessive.  


Region Five: Peace (Fairview, Falher, Grande Prairie, Valleyview)  

Over the past two weeks, most parts of the region received at least 30 mm of rain. Also, there were hail storms reported for some areas, with light to severe damage.  

First cut haying operations are now 98 per cent complete (ahead of the 84 per cent average), with the average yield estimated at 2.1 tons per acre, well above the 5-year average of 1.3 tons per acre. Quality is rated as 23 per cent poor or fair and 77 per cent good or excellent. Second cut hay is underway and 14 per cent is completed, with yield estimated at 1.5 tons per acre.  

Pasture growing conditions (tame hay conditions shown in brackets) are reported as 9 (11) per cent poor, 32 (31) per cent fair, 57 (56) per cent good and 2 (2) per cent excellent.  

Surface soil moisture is rated (sub-surface soil moisture ratings shown in brackets) at 24 (12) per cent poor, 26 (26) per cent fair, 47 (54) per cent good and 3 (8) per cent excellent. 

Source: DePutter Publishing Ltd.

Information contained herein is believed to be accurate but is not guaranteed by the parties providing it. Syngenta, DePutter Publishing Ltd. and their information sources assume no responsibility or liability for any action taken as a result of any information or advice contained in these reports, and any action taken is solely at the liability and responsibility of the user.