Alberta has revised most of its yield estimates for major crops modestly higher from earlier in the month, with one notable exception: canola.
Friday’s Alberta crop report pegged the province’s average 2022 canola yield at 38.8 bu/acre, down from the Sept. 9 provincial estimate of 41 bu, and below the revised Statistics Canada forecast earlier this month of 41.7 bu, which was downgraded from August.
On the other hand, the average expected Alberta spring wheat yield was bumped up to 54.3 bu/acre from 52.8 bu in today’s report (versus the September StatsCan estimate of 58.7 bu/acre), while oats increased to 92.3 bu/acre from 90 bu and barley climbed to 74.7 bu from 73.2 bu. StatsCan’s oat and barley yield estimates in September came in at 78.9 bu and 71.5 bu/acre, respectively.
The average Alberta pea yield estimate was little changed, inching up to 44.9 bu/acre from 44.7 bu, well above the latest StatsCan estimate of 41.4 bu.
An estimated 77% of all Alberta crops were combined as of Tuesday, up from just under 60% two weeks earlier and well ahead of the five- and 10-year averages of 51% and 53%. Last year, an estimated 79% of the crop was in the bin.
The harvest is nearing completion in the South region, where 91% of the crops were off as of Tuesday. The Central region was 77% complete, followed by the North East at 73%, the Peace at 68%, and the North West at 59%. Overall, for this time in the season, the South and Peace harvests are running ahead of last year while Central, North East and North West regions are behind.
With the harvest well advanced, quality expectations are favourable for major crops relative to the long-term normal, with the exception of durum.
Hard Red Spring Wheat is expected to grade 68% 1 CW (versus 54% for five-year average) and is reported in particularly high quality in the Peace. Barley, canola, and dry pea quality expectations are modestly ahead of their long-term averages and oats marginally behind long-term normal quality. Durum is the notable exception with a quality downgrade relative to normal, as 12% more than normal of the total provincial crop is expected at 2 CW grade, the report said.
Meanwhile, a deterioration in soil moisture levels is continuing across the province, except for the Peace region which received meaningful precipitation over the past week. Although near normal precipitation in this growing season helped deliver above average yields, soil moisture is now back at pre-June lows.
Region One: South (Strathmore, Lethbridge, Medicine Hat, Foremost)
Overall harvest is nearing completion and crop reporters are communicating hopes for post-harvest precipitation.
In this region, 91 per cent of the crops are in the bin, three per cent are in swath and six per cent are standing. All crops are over 95 per cent combined with exception of canola (78 per cent), flax (83 per cent), potatoes (28 per cent), dry beans (65 per cent) and sugar beets (seven percent).
Surface soil moisture conditions (sub-surface shown in brackets) are rated as 41 (52) per cent poor, 48 (37) per cent fair, 10 (11) per cent good and one (zero) per cent excellent.
Region Two: Central (Rimbey, Airdrie, Coronation, Oyen)
Significantly the highest barley quality region of the province with nearly 50 per cent expected at malt grade.
About 77 per cent of crops are in the bin, 13 per cent are in swath and 10 per cent remain standing. Pulses are all reported as 100 per cent combined, whereas canola is only 46 per cent combined, flax 50 per cent and potatoes 20 per cent.
Surface soil moisture conditions (sub-surface shown in brackets) are rated as seven (15) per cent poor, 42 (44) per cent fair, 46 (40) per cent good and four (zero) per cent excellent.
Region Three: North East (Smoky Lake, Vermilion, Camrose, Provost)
Barley and peas largely expected of lower quality that provincial average but wheat and canola in the North East are of very high quality.
About 73 per cent of crops are in the bin, 14 per cent are in swath and 13 per cent remain standing. Canola and flax are 53 and 49 per cent combined respectively.
Surface soil moisture conditions (sub-surface shown in brackets) are rated as 31 (22) per cent poor, 33 (36) per cent fair, 35 (39) per cent good and one (four) per cent excellent.
Region Four: North West (Barrhead, Edmonton, Leduc, Drayton Valley, Athabasca)
Higher yield variability but quality grains are being reported in the North West. Some late season, light hail damage is reported along with dropping temperatures and a localized fall frost.
Almost 59 per cent of the crops are in the bin, 21 per cent are in swath and 20 per cent remain standing. Pea harvest is complete whereas oats and canola have the most acreage remaining with 59 and 32 per cent respectively combined.
Surface soil moisture conditions (sub-surface shown in brackets) are rated as 13 (two) per cent poor, 42 (21) per cent fair, 42 (72) per cent good and four (four) per cent excellent.
Region Five: Peace (Fairview, Falher, Grande Prairie, Valleyview)
Large areas of the Peace region received 30-70 mm of rain over the past week and despite the rain, combining has progressed from 20 per cent to 68 per cent in the past two weeks.
Currently, about 68 per cent of crops are in the bin, 10 per cent are in swath and 22 per cent are standing. Dry peas are 88 per cent combined. Spring wheat, barley, and oats are all roughly 75 per cent combined, whereas canola is 56 per cent combined.
The Peace region received meaningful rain in the past week and surface soil moisture reports relative to sub-surface moisture highlight that. Surface soil moisture conditions (sub-surface shown in brackets) are rated as two (42) per cent poor, six (19) per cent fair, 49 (39) per cent good and 44 (zero) per cent excellent.
Source: DePutter Publishing Ltd.
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