Dry September Weather Keeps Alberta Harvest Moving 




Another week or so should just about wrap up an Alberta harvest that continues to progress at a quicker than normal pace amid mostly dry September weather in much of the province. 


The weekly crop Friday pegged the harvest of major crops (spring wheat, oats, barley, canola and dry peas) at 88% complete as of Tuesday, up from 76% a week earlier and well ahead of the five- and 10-year averages of 57% and 63%. 


Except for the Peace region, Alberta saw well below normal September precipitation, “allowing harvest to proceed without significant interruption,” the report said. 


An estimated 97% of crops were harvested in the South region as of Tuesday, followed by the North East at 90%, the Central at 86%, the Peace at 81%, and the North West at 75%. Spring wheat, barley and dry peas are nearing completion at 95, 95 and 99% harvested respectively. Oats, at 86% harvested, and canola, at 75%, are the major crops with significant acreage left still standing or in the swath. However, over the past week, combining of canola has increased from 54% completion to 75%, with an additional 14% swathed.  


Only 7% of major crops in Alberta are now left standing, much lower than the five-year average of 24%. 


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

Warm, dry conditions have led to the harvest season for major crops nearing completion. With the exception of canola, which is four per cent still standing and another four percent in the swath, all major crops are basically finished harvest at 98 per cent or higher of combining completed.  

Surface soil moisture conditions (sub-surface shown in brackets) are rated as 39 (49) per cent poor, 50 (42) per cent fair, 10 (nine) per cent good and zero (zero) per cent excellent.  


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

Dry peas are 100 per cent harvested and spring cereals from 92 to 97 per cent complete. Canola is 64 per cent combined and 23 per cent in the swath. Pastures and fall-seeded crops are reported stressed from lack of moisture. Seventy per cent of fall-seeded crops are reported as poor or fair.  

Surface soil moisture conditions (sub-surface shown in brackets) are rated as 23 (28) per cent poor, 45 (43) per cent fair, 32 (28) per cent good and zero (zero) per cent excellent.  


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

Dry peas are 100 per cent harvested and spring cereals from 92 to 98 per cent complete. Canola is 81 per cent combined and seven per cent in the swath and is reported in highly variable maturity.  

Surface soil moisture conditions (sub-surface shown in brackets) are rated as 40 (26) per cent poor, 38 (38) per cent fair, 21 (33) per cent good and one (three) per cent excellent.  


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

Dry peas are 100 per cent harvested and spring cereals from 78 per cent (oats) to 91 per cent. Canola harvest is the regionally lowest progress of the province at 55 per cent harvested and another 31 per cent in the swath. Variable canola maturity and yields are reported. Eighty-eight per cent of fall-seeded crops are reported as poor or fair.  

Surface soil moisture conditions (sub-surface shown in brackets) are rated as 16 (three) per cent poor, 44 (29) per cent fair, 40 (67) per cent good and one (zero) per cent excellent.  


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

Dry peas are 93 per cent harvested, spring cereals from 81 to 87 per cent harvested and canola is 74 per cent harvested. Last week’s reported rains only delayed harvest by one or two days across the region. Pasture is variable and reported mostly as either good (30 per cent) or poor (60 per cent).  

Surface soil moisture conditions (sub-surface shown in brackets) are rated as 29 (42) per cent poor, 22 (18) per cent fair, 46 (28) per cent good and four (two) per cent excellent. 

  

Source: DePutter Publishing Ltd.

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