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Alberta Crop Report
7/20 3:32 PM

OMAHA (DTN) -- The following are highlights from the weekly crop progress report for conditions as of July 17, released July 20 from Alberta Agriculture and Forestry, Economics and Competitiveness Division, Statistics and Data Development Branch.

Variable weather conditions across the province continued over the past week. Most areas in the Peace, North East and North West Regions and in some parts of the Central Region received at least 30 mm of rain, which was adequate for sustainable crop growth. However, receiving less than 20 mm rain were the Southern Region, some areas in the Central Region and some parts of the Peace Region, causing stress for crops and forages. These areas are badly in need of moisture. Also, some light to moderate hail damage has been reported in different regions.

Provincially, the rating of crop growing conditions fell only 1% from last week to 72% good to excellent, compared with the five-year average (2013-2017) of 69%. Regionally, compared to a week ago, crop condition ratings have declined 11% in the Southern Region at 57% good to excellent, down from the five-year average of 65%. In the Central Region, it improved 3% to 64% good to excellent, which is now in line with the five-year average. For the North East Region, conditions were unchanged from a week ago at 84% good to excellent, above the five-year average of 78%. For the North West Region, it fell slightly and is now rated at 68% good to excellent, compared to the five-year average of 70%. For the Peace Region, crop conditions rated as 88% good to excellent, much higher than the five-year average of 61%.

Surface and sub-surface soil moisture ratings across the province declined about three and 2%, respectively, and remained variable across the province (see the Map). Surface soil moisture conditions (sub-surface soil moisture in brackets) are now rated as 11 (10)% poor, 30 (29)% fair, 44 (42)% good, 14 (18)% excellent and 1 (1)% excessive.

Pasture and tame hay growing conditions have deteriorated from last week. Provincially, pasture conditions are rated as 15% poor, 31% fair, 47% good and 7% excellent. Tame hay conditions have similar ratings with 15% poor, 34% fair, 46% good and 5% excellent.

The following is a breakdown by region:

REGION ONE: SOUTHERN (STRATHMORE, LETHBRIDGE, MEDICINE HAT, FOREMOST)

-- Hot and windy conditions with no rain or the odd spotty shower was almost a repeat of last week. Crops are deteriorating and a vast majority of them are showing signs of heat stress given the dry conditions. Moisture is badly needed in the region.

-- Regionally, (five-year averages in brackets), 57 (64 and 65)% of spring wheat and barley, 63 (71)% of oats, 55 (64)% of canola and 62 (67)% of dry peas are in good to excellent condition. It is also worth noting that, these ratings are much better than last year, at this time. Most cereals in the region are still in the flowering stage.

-- Surface and sub-surface soil moisture conditions have declined by 10 and 11%, respectively from a week ago and are now rated as 39 and 34% good to excellent.

-- Continued hot and dry weather in the Region have also greatly affected pasture and hay condition. Pasture conditions (tame hay conditions in brackets) have deteriorated 11 (15)% from last week and are now rated as 59 (66)% poor to fair, 36 (30)% good and 5 (4)% excellent.

REGION TWO: CENTRAL (RIMBEY, AIRDRIE, CORONATION, OYEN)

-- Over the past week, some areas in the region received some rain (from a few tenth to over an inch), which was helpful to improve crop conditions. For those areas which did not, crops continue to show signs of stress. Overall, the whole region is badly in need of moisture and rain would be most welcome. Regionally, (five-year averages in brackets), 65 (65 and 66)% of spring wheat and barley, 67 (67)% of oats, 62 (62)% of canola and 69 (69)% of dry peas are in good to excellent condition. Most cereals in the region are in the beginning of flowering stage.

-- Even though surface soil moisture has declined by 6%, sub-surface soil moisture improved 4% from last week and are now rated as 48 and 54% good to excellent.

-- Pastures are in need of a great deal of moisture for re-growth and conditions (tame hay conditions in brackets) are rated as 48 (48)% poor to fair, 50 (49)% good and 2 (3)% excellent.

REGION THREE: NORTH EAST (SMOKY LAKE, VERMILION, CAMROSE, PROVOST)

-- Recent rain has benefited crops immensely. Only a few counties in the Region have reported some crops showing signs of stress. Regionally, (five-year averages in brackets), about 84 (80)% of wheat, 83 (76)% of barley, 85 (78)% of oats, 84 (77)% of canola and 89 (82)% of dry peas are in good to excellent condition. Most cereals in the region are at the beginning of the flowering stage.

-- Surface and sub-surface soil moisture conditions improved by seven and 1%, respectively and are now rated as 80 and 83% good to excellent, with 2% excessive.

-- Pasture conditions (tame hay conditions in brackets) are rated as 32 (37)% poor to fair, 56 (56)% good and 12 (7)% excellent. Also, hay supplies and pasture remain a concern for livestock producers.

REGION FOUR: NORTH WEST (BARRHEAD, EDMONTON, LEDUC, DRAYTON VALLEY, ATHABASCA)

-- Variable amounts of rain in the region have led to varying crop conditions among counties. Provincially, (five-year averages in the brackets), 74 (71)% of spring wheat and oats, 73 (69)% of barley, 61 (69)% of canola and 84 (73)% of dry peas are in good to excellent condition. Most cereals are in the flowering stage.

-- Surface and sub-surface soil moisture declined from a week ago and are rated as 52 and 58% good to excellent, respectively, with 1% excessive.

-- Pasture conditions (tame hay conditions in brackets) are rated as 70 (69)% poor to fair, 27 (28)% good and 3 (3)% excellent.

REGION FIVE: PEACE RIVER (FAIRVIEW, FALHER, GRANDE PRAIRIE, VALLEYVIEW)

-- Warm, dry and windy conditions have been the dominant weather pattern in the region, while in some areas rain has not been substantial. The lack of moisture in these areas has also slowed down crop development. Most cereals are now in the flowering stage.

-- Regionally, (five-year averages in the brackets), 89 (65)% of wheat, 89 (60 and 64)% of barley and oats, 87 (58)% of canola and 89 (67)% of dry peas are in good to excellent condition.

-- While surface soil moisture has declined by 6%, sub-surface soil moisture improved 3% from last week and are now rated as 82 and 83% good to excellent, respectively, with 6 and 4% excessive.

-- Pasture conditions are rated as 20% poor to fair, 68% good and 12% excellent, with similar ratings reported for tame hay.

(AG)

 
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