Alberta Harvest Also Wrapping Up Earlier than Usual




As in Saskatchewan and Manitoba, this year’s Alberta harvest is wrapping up much earlier than usual.


The regular weekly crop report on Friday pegged the overall harvest of major crops in Alberta (spring wheat, barley, oats, canola and dry peas) at about 97% complete as of Tuesday. That is up about 7 points from the previous week and is well ahead of the five- and 10-year averages of 69% and 78%, respectively. Another 1% of major crops were in the swath as of Tuesday, while 2% were still standing.


An estimated 4% of the oats were still standing, along with 2% of the canola and spring wheat and 1% of the barley.


The harvest in the Peace region still had the furthest to go to completion, with around 8% of major crops still be combined as of Tuesday. The North West had about 5% still to go, the Central 4% and the North East around 3%. Less than 1% of crops still needed to be combined in the South.


But while relatively dry conditions allowed harvesting to progress this past week, the report noted that overall soil moisture reserves have deteriorated, due to lower than normal fall precipitation. However, soil moisture does vary among regions, with the North West Region and some areas in the Peace and North East Regions having adequate reserves.


“Although fall showers or winter snow can help the soil moisture situation . . . spring precipitation will be a major factor for the success of 2021 crops,” the report said. “It is far too soon to determine if the 2021 will be a dry year as a result of low surface soil moisture in the fall.”


Surface soil moisture conditions in Alberta are now rated as 14% poor, 24% fair, 44% good and 17% excellent, with 1% excessive.


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

· Harvest in the region is virtually complete for major crops. Some small acreage has been left in low spots. Sugar beets are still being harvested and about one per cent of canola is still standing, with another one per sent swathed.

· Fall-seeded crops are rated as 3 per cent poor, 34 per cent fair, 58 per cent good and 5 per cent excellent.

· Surface soil moisture conditions (sub-surface ratings shown in brackets) are rated as 36 (34) per cent poor, 36 (32) per cent fair, 27 (33) per cent good and 1 (1) per cent excellent.


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

· Over the past week, scattered showers slowed harvest operations, but producers still were able to harvest an additional seven per cent of their major crops. Currently, harvest is mostly complete, expect for the later seeded crops or some acres that had hail and are still green.

· For the Region, about 96 per cent of major crops have now been harvested, two per cent are in swath and another two per cent are still standing.

· About two per cent of spring wheat, oats and canola and one per cent of barley are still standing, with two per cent of barley and oats and three per cent of canola in swath.

· Fall-seeded crops are rated as 2 per cent poor, 11 per cent fair, 83 per cent good and 4 per cent excellent.

· Surface soil moisture conditions (sub-surface ratings shown in brackets) are rated as 6 (7) per cent poor, 16 (13) per cent fair, 75 (78) per cent good and 3 (2) per cent excellent.


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

· Another week of good weather helped producers to combine an additional six per cent of their major crops. Harvest is nearing completion with 97 per cent of the crops now in the bin. About two per cent of crops have been swathed and only one per cent is still standing.

· About one per cent of spring wheat, oats and canola are still standing, with two per cent of oats and three per cent of canola in swath.

· Fall seeded crops are rated as 14 per cent fair and 86 per cent good.

· Surface soil moisture ratings (sub-surface ratings in brackets) are rated as 2 (3) per cent poor, 23 (7) per cent fair, 49 (26) per cent good and 25 (63) per cent excellent, with 1 (1) per cent excessive.


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

· Good weather over the past week allowed producers to advance harvest by an additional 16 per cent over the past week. Unharvested crops are still green either due to late seeding or set back in maturity as a result of excessive moisture.

· For the region, about 95 per cent of major crops are now in the bin, two per cent are in swath and three per cent still standing.

· About three per cent of spring wheat, barley and canola and six per cent of oats are still standing, with three per cent of canola in swath.

· Fall seeded crops are rated as 28 per cent fair and 72 per cent good.

· Surface soil moisture ratings (sub-surface ratings in brackets) are rated as 13 (6) per cent fair, 2 (6) per cent good and 76 (66) per cent excellent, with 9 (22) per cent excessive.


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

· Showers, sleet and frost have slowed harvesting operations and in some areas have halted harvest and delayed harvest completion. Yet, producers were able to combine an additional seven per cent of their crops.

· Regionally, 92 per cent of crops have been harvested, two per cent are in swath and six per cent still standing.

· About eight per cent of spring wheat, seven per cent of barley, nine per cent of oats and six per cent of canola are still standing, with four per cent of canola in swath.

· Surface soil moisture ratings (sub-surface ratings in brackets) are rated as 2 (0) per cent poor, 17 (18) per cent fair, 57 (60) per cent good and 23 (21) per cent excellent, with 1 (1) per cent excessive.


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.