Alberta Crop Conditions at End of August 2014

The warm, dry weather during the (month) continued to rapidly enhance crop development toward maturity. Outside of spotty showers, the Central and North East Regions reported some precipitation as well as hail storms with moderate to severe damage.

Harvest of winter wheat and fall rye is underway in the South, Central and North East Regions. In the South Region, swathing of dry peas, spring wheat, durum, barley, and canola has just started. Canola is also being swathed in the Peace and Central Regions.

There has been small decline in overall crop conditions across most parts of the province, especially in the South Region due to hot, dry weather and lack of moisture. The Peace Region reported improvement of five per cent from a week ago, and is now at 52 per cent good to excellent. Provincially, 73 to 78 per cent of spring cereals, canola and dry peas are in good to excellent condition.

Preliminary estimates indicate that dryland yield could be about average for most crops. For canola, the 2014 yield is estimated at 38.4 bushels per acre, spring wheat 44.3 bushels per acre and barley 65.7 bushels per acre.

Sub-surface soil moisture ratings remain low at 64 per cent good to excellent, mainly due to lack of rain, especially in the South and Peace Regions. The North East Region is still rated over 90 per cent good to excellent. Overall, surface soil moisture is rated as 70 per cent good to excellent.

Producers continue to make good haying progress. First cut haying operations are 96 per cent complete across the province. With respect to quality, 77 per cent of hay is rated as good to excellent. Tame hay and pasture growth is rated as 62 per cent good to excellent.

(Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development)