County crops flourish in hot, dry weather

Crops in Ponoka County are advancing well due to the weather conditions of the last two weeks.

A canola crop north of Ponoka flourishes

A canola crop north of Ponoka flourishes

Crops in Ponoka County are advancing well due to the weather conditions of the last two weeks.

The 2012 Alberta Crop Report Series, from the Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development Economics and Competitiveness Division, has put out another summary for the five regions of Alberta. According to the report crops in the Central region are advancing quickly due to the dry, hot weather.

“We need the warm weather to help the crops mature,” said Shayne Steffen, Ponoka County manager of agricultural services.

More than 94 per cent of spring wheat, durum, barley, oats, canola and dry peas are being rated good to excellent. Seventy-three per cent of canola is flowering, 23 per cent is in the rosette stage and three per cent is podding. Most cereal crops are in the late boot stage, with some starting to head, says the report.

However, some crops of the regions are showing signs of heat and moisture stress says the report.

First cut haying operations are 20 per cent complete on dryland and 10 per cent on irrigated land.

Steffen said clubroot inspections will start in about a week and fusarium graminearum sampling will start on long-term corn silage fields.

Toadflax, Canada thistle and white cockle are the weeds of concern to Ponoka.

“Weed inspections are continuing with just under 400 fields surveyed with tall buttercup and the hawkweed species and scentless chamomile as the weeds of concern in the Rimbey area” Steffen said.

Most moisture reserves in the county are rated as good to excellent. For the province as a whole, as of July 10, 12.2 per cent of sub-surface moisture conditions were rated as fair, 54.9 per cent as good and 30.4 per cent as excellent. Less than two per cent has been rated excessive.

Hailstorms have occurred throughout the province but hail damage, for the most part, is minor.

For the province no crops have been rated as poor, and the majority of each crop is rated good with the next highest rating being excellent.