Alberta planting is nearing two-thirds complete, with producers taking advantage of mostly dry weather this past week to advance fieldwork.
The latest weekly crop report on Friday pegged the overall seeding of all crops in the province at about 62% complete as of Tuesday, slightly ahead of the five-year average of just over 59%. In the previous week’s report, the planting of major crops (spring wheat, barley, oats, canola and dry peas) was estimated at almost 21% done.
Planting remains the most advanced in the South region, with almost 81% of the crop in as of Tuesday. That is followed by the Central region at 71.5% complete, the North East at 54.5%, the North West at 40% and the Peace at 33%. Regionally, seeding progress is ahead of the 5-year average in the Central, North East and Southern Regions (by 13, 6 and 5 points, respectively), but behind in the Peace and North West Regions by 17 and 10 points.
Both provincial and regional seeding progress are well ahead of 2017, which was a similar spring in Alberta, with both seeding of new crops and harvesting of overwintered crops at the same time.
Good weather conditions over the past week also led to additional combining of overwintered acres from the 2019 crop season, but it is still challenging in some areas, particularly in the North West Region and some parts of the Peace Region. As of Tuesday, about 4% of unharvested spring wheat acres remained in the field across the province, along with 3% of barley, 10% of oats and 5% of canola.
Region One: Southern (Strathmore, Lethbridge, Medicine Hat, Foremost)
· Seeding is underway and crops are emerging in most areas, but in some western counties of the region, crop emergence has been slowed, due to cooler temperatures. The ground surface is getting dry and the rain in the forecast is welcome by producers. Pasture and tame hay fields look good and should be improved with the moisture in the forecast.
· Seeding is estimated at 82 per cent completed for all crops and 25 per cent have emerged. For major crops, seeding progress was reported at 81 per cent, up 14 per cent from a week ago.
· About 86 per cent of spring wheat, 88 per cent of durum, 79 per cent of barley, 69 per cent of canola, 94 per cent of dry peas, 83 per cent of corn and 99 per cent of sugar beets have now been seeded.
· Surface soil moisture is rated at 6 per cent poor, 43 per cent fair, 43 per cent good and 8 per cent excellent.
· Fall seeded crops are rated as 2 per cent poor, 20 per cent fair, 65 per cent good, and 13 per cent excellent.
Region Two: Central (Rimbey, Airdrie, Coronation, Oyen)
· Seeding is in full swing in the region and progressed by 32 per cent over the past week to 72 per cent of all crops now completed, with six per cent emerged. Warmer temperatures and rain are needed for germination of crops Nearly 80 per cent of spring wheat, 65 per cent of barley and canola, 87 per cent of dry peas, 85 per cent of chickpeas and 79 per cent of lentils are reported as seeded.
· Overwintered crops in the region have almost been harvested, with only two per cent of spring wheat left. The quality of combined 2019 cereals ranges from 50 to 86 per cent good feed, while 81 per cent of canola is graded at No. 3 Canada or better.
· Surface soil moisture is rated at 4 per cent poor, 19 per cent fair, 59 per cent good and 18 per cent excellent.
· Fall seeded crops are rated as 1 per cent poor, 17 per cent fair, 81 per cent good and 1 per cent excellent.
Region Three: North East (Smoky Lake, Vermilion, Camrose, Provost)
· Favourable weather conditions contributed to seeding advancement with 55 per cent of all crops complete, up 23 per cent from a week ago, while three per cent of crops have emerged. Warmer temperatures are needed for crop and pasture growth.
· Nearly 66 per cent of spring wheat, 35 per cent of barley, 23 per cent of oats, 46 per cent of canola and 90 per cent of dry peas have now been seeded.
· More overwintered crops in the region have been harvested during the prior week. Currently, about one per cent of spring wheat, barley and canola and four per cent of oats are left in the fields. The quality of combined 2019 cereals ranges from 71 to 78 per cent good feed, while 86 per cent of canola is graded at No. 3 Canada or better.
· Surface soil moisture is rated at 1 per cent poor, 9 per cent fair, 61 per cent good and 27 per cent excellent, with 2 per cent excessive.
· For fall seeded crops, conditions are reported as 24 per cent fair and 76 per cent good.
Region Four: North West (Barrhead, Edmonton, Leduc, Drayton Valley, Athabasca)
· Over the past week, seeding advanced to 40 per cent complete, up two per cent from the previous week. In some areas, cold temperatures have slowed pasture and tame hay growth.
· About 52 per cent of spring wheat, 27 per cent of barley, 20 per cent of oats, 37 per cent of canola and 46 per cent of dry peas are reported as seeded.
· Combining of unharvested crops continued over the last week. There are still 18 per cent of overwintered spring wheat, 19 per cent of barley, 26 per cent of oats and 17 per cent of canola left in the fields.
· Surface moisture is rated at 11 per cent fair, 28 per cent good and 56 per cent excellent, with 5 per cent excessive.
Region Five: Peace River (Fairview, Falher, Grande Prairie, Valleyview)
· Seeding for the region is now at 33 per cent complete, up four per cent from a week ago, with one per cent emerged. Cooler weather and cold soil temperatures have slowed germination and pasture growth. · Almost 32 per cent of spring wheat, 29 per cent of barley and oats, 32 per cent of canola and 39 per cent of dry peas have now been seeded.
· More unharvested crops from the 2019 season have been removed from the fields. There are still four per cent of overwintered spring wheat, three per cent of both barley and oats and eight per cent of canola left in the fields.
· Surface soil moisture is rated at 2 per cent fair, 39 per cent good and 56 per cent excellent, with 3 per cent excessive.
Source: DePutter Publishing Ltd.
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