Drier Conditions Keep Alberta Seeding Pace Near Normal 




Seeding in Alberta is proceeding near the average pace, in marked contrast to Saskatchewan and Manitoba where wet conditions are delaying fieldwork. 


The latest weekly crop on Friday pegged the seeding of major crops across the province (spring wheat, barley, oats, canola, and dry peas) at about 20% complete as of Tuesday, up from 9% a week earlier and just slightly behind the five-year average of 22%. 


Seeding is the most advanced in the province’s South region, where almost 51% of the crop was in, 6 points ahead of the average. The South was followed by the Central region at 23% complete, the North East at 8%, the North West at 6% and the Peace at less than 1%. Compared to average, seeding is also running ahead in the Central region, but is lagging in North East, North West and Peace regions. 


Meanwhile, this week’s crop reports showed seeding in Manitoba at less than 1% complete, more than 20 points behind average, while Saskatchewan seeding was 9 points behind at 14% done. 


In terms of individual crops, about 27% of the Alberta barley crop was in the ground as of Tuesday, along with 26% of the spring wheat, 8% of the canola, and 4% of the oats. Almost 43% of the dry pea crop was also seeded. In general, spring wheat, barley, and peas are seeing timely seeding progress and are in line with five-year averages, while oats and canola have significantly lower completion and are marginally behind their respective five-year averages. 


Dry conditions and cold temperatures continued to dominate much of the province last week. Modest and localized rains were reported in many areas of the province, “but not the meaningful precipitation needed,” the report said. Central and northern regions have received near normal precipitation in the last 30 days, but still have significant soil moisture deficits relative to normal.  


Surface soil moisture continues to rank extremely poor and is of high concern in the South. Central and northern regions are all roughly 50% poor to fair, whereas the Peace continues to be the only region in a strong soil moisture position with 89% rated good or excellent. Provincewide 58% of surface moisture and 58% of subsoil moisture is rated as poor or fair and rain throughout the growing season is desperately needed in most areas except the Peace. 


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

Scattered showers and cool temperatures were prevalent this week with most areas receiving less than 5 mm.  

Seeding of the major crops has progressed 19 points over last week with an estimated 51 per cent of acres now in the ground, compared to the five-year average of 45 per cent. Dry bean plantings should start this week.  

Soil moisture is poor with 14 per cent of surface and eight per cent of sub-surface moisture rated good or excellent.  

Tame hay and pastures are greening up but growth continues to lag because of the cool weather and lack of precipitation. Current condition ratings are showing 17 per cent good or excellent for hay and 11 per cent for pasture. 


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

Most areas received precipitation over the last week, with accumulations of up to 20 mm occurring in some areas. Soil temperatures and cool weather are hampering crop emergence.  

Seeding of the major crops has progressed 17 points over last week with an estimated 23 per cent of acres now in the ground, compared to the five-year average of 21 per cent.  

Soil moisture is decent with 47 per cent of surface and 54 per cent of sub-surface moisture rated good or excellent.  

Cool weather has slowed hay and pasture growth. Current condition ratings are showing 44 per cent good or excellent for hay and 48 per cent for pasture.  


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

Most areas received moisture this past week with higher accumulations, up to 25 mm, occurring in the eastern part of region. Warm sunny weather is needed to promote annual and perennial plant growth.  

Seeding of the major crops has progressed seven points over last week with an estimated eight per cent of acres now in the ground, compared to the previous five-year average of 13 per cent. Reports of some producers changing their intended crops so that seeding can start.  

Soil moisture is adequate with 52 per cent of surface and 55 per cent of sub-surface moisture rated good or excellent.  

Pasture and hay fields are slow to develop due to the cold temperatures. Current condition ratings are showing 10 per cent good or excellent for hay and 12 per cent for pasture. 


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

Precipitation was spotty throughout the region, with accumulations of up to 15 mm occurring in the Edmonton area. Warmer weather would be welcome to help progress.  

Seeding of the major crops has progressed six points over last week with an estimated six per cent of acres now in the ground, compared to the previous five-year average of 12 per cent.  

Soil moisture is adequate with 44 per cent of surface and 38 per cent of sub-surface moisture rated good or excellent.  

Hay and pastures are green but lacking growth as they are looking for sunshine. Current condition ratings are showing 24 per cent good or excellent for hay and 12 per cent for pasture.  


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

Snow and rain fell throughout region this last week with southern half of the region receiving up to 25 mm and the northern half receiving 50 mm or more.  

There has been minimal seeding progress over last week with less than one per cent of acres now in the ground, compared to the five-year average of 11 per cent.  

Soil moisture is excellent with 89 per cent of surface and 82 per cent of sub-surface moisture rated good or excellent.  

Cooler temperatures have slowed pasture and hay growth. Current condition ratings are showing 41 per cent good or excellent for hay and 45 per cent for pasture 


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.