Alberta Harvest Crosses Finish Line




Aside from the last remaining fields to be combined in the North West and the Peace regions, the Alberta harvest has essentially now wrapped up for the year.


The final weekly provincial crop report on Friday pegged the overall Alberta harvest at 99% complete as of Tuesday. That is up 3 points from a week earlier and is two to three weeks ahead of the five- and 10-year averages of 71% and 81% complete, respectively. Only about 0.5% of major crops were in the swath as of Tuesday, while less than 1% remained standing.


The harvest is practically complete in the South, Central and North East Regions, with about 98% of crops off in the North West and 95% in the Peace.


Weather has started to cool down, with frosts happening overnight, the report said. Soil moisture remains poor throughout much of the South, Central, North East and North West regions but is near normal for the Peace Region and small pockets in the North West and Central regions. Provincial surface soil moisture  is currently depleted and rated as 35% poor, 35% fair, 27% good and 3% excellent


Feed availability is variable across the province, even within municipalities, depending on such factors as topography and precipitation received. Some producers have adequate or even surplus feed grain and forages, while others are supplementing their feed shortfalls with straw from their fields, as there has been a substantial amount baled after harvest. In other cases, producers need to buy straw where little crop was harvested.


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

 Harvest of major crops is practically complete. Some light snow and rain have moderated moisture levels, while temperatures are returning to seasonal normal and light frosts have started overnight.

 Forage reserve estimates for this region are 18 per cent deficit, 35 per cent shortfall, 43 per cent adequate and 4 per cent surplus, while feed grain supplies are 18 per cent deficit, 32 per cent shortfall, 45 per cent adequate and 5 per cent surplus.

 Fall-seeded crops are rated as 7 per cent poor, 38 per cent fair, 50 per cent good and 5 per cent excellent.

 Surface soil moisture conditions (sub-surface ratings shown in brackets) are rated as 34 (60) per cent poor, 46 (32) per cent fair, 19 (8) per cent good and 1 (0) per cent excellent.


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

 Harvest in the region is virtually complete and producers are progressing with fall fieldwork. In some counties, livestock producers are purchasing feed and straw due to extremely dry conditions and heat stress from the growing season.

 Forage reserve estimates in this region are 10 per cent deficit, 17 per cent shortfall, 65 per cent adequate and 8 per cent surplus, while feed grain supplies are 9 per cent deficit, 15 per cent shortfall, 64 per cent adequate and 12 per cent surplus.

 Fall-seeded crops are rated as 27 per cent poor, 18 per cent fair, 45 per cent good and 10 per cent excellent.

 Surface soil moisture conditions (sub-surface ratings shown in brackets) are rated as 27 (34) per cent poor, 35 (29) per cent fair, 35 (35) per cent good and 3 (2) per cent excellent.


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

 Harvest is almost complete in the region and temperatures are cooling off, with heavier frosts overnight. Cattle are grazing on harvested fields and producers are cutting and baling remaining crop.

 Forage reserve estimates in this region are 23 per cent deficit, 17 per cent shortfall, 58 per cent adequate and 2 per cent surplus, while feed grain supplies are 21 per cent deficit, 16 per cent shortfall, 60 per cent adequate and 3 per cent surplus.

 Fall-seeded crops are rated as 27 per cent poor, 13 per cent fair, and 60 per cent good.

 Surface soil moisture conditions (sub-surface ratings shown in brackets) are rated as 54 (43) per cent poor, 19 (31) per cent fair, 24 (24) per cent good and 3 (2) per cent excellent.


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

 With about 98 per cent of crops in the bin, harvest is nearing completion. Less than two per cent of crops are still standing, which include oats and canola fields that were damaged over the growing season, delaying maturity. Some producers are facing feed and hay shortages, which is supplemented by baling some crops remaining or sourcing locally to avoid trucking costs.

 Forage reserve estimates in this region are 47 per cent deficit, 27 per cent shortfall, 25 per cent adequate and 1 per cent surplus, while feed grain supplies are 43 per cent deficit, 24 per cent shortfall, 30 per cent adequate and 3 per cent surplus.

 Fall-seeded crops are rated as 38 per cent fair, 61 per cent good and 1 per cent excellent.

 Surface soil moisture conditions (sub-surface ratings shown in brackets) are rated as 22 (12) per cent poor, 27 (37) per cent fair, 39 (39) per cent good and 12 (12) per cent excellent.


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

 About 95 per cent of crops are now in the bin. Only some late seeded crops and fields with second growth are still to

be harvested. While two per cent of crops are in swath, almost three per cent are still standing, including two per cent

of spring wheat and barley, three per cent of oats and four per cent of canola.

 Forage reserve estimates in this region are 10 per cent deficit, 39 per cent shortfall, 47 per cent adequate and 4 per cent surplus, while feed grain supplies are 5 per cent deficit, 33 per cent shortfall, 52 per cent adequate and 10 per cent surplus.

 Surface soil moisture conditions (sub-surface ratings shown in brackets) are rated as 40 (36) per cent poor, 34 (39) per cent fair, 25 (24) per cent good and 1 (1) per cent excellent.


Source: DePutter Publishing Ltd.

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