Hail, rain slowing region’s crop development

Drop report for the week of Aug. 10 for the Ponoka News.

Unsettled weather continued to pound central Alberta and many other parts of the province, leaving producers hoping for some better conditions over the next couple weeks as they prepare for harvest.

According to the most recent weekly crop report produced by Alberta Agriculture, crops in the region remain mostly in good to excellent condition. Oats were the best at 86 per cent with barley sitting at 83 while both peas and spring wheat were rated at 81 per cent. Only canola was below the 80 per cent level, coming at 78 per cent of fields reporting in at good to excellent.

However, some pulse crops were starting to yellow due to the excess moisture that has fallen in the region over the past two weeks, which has also left haying to be completed throughout the area due to the wet conditions. Hay conditions are rated at 76 per cent good to excellent with pastures being reported at 79 per cent.

Ashan Shooshtarian, a crop statistician with Alberta Agriculture and Forestry, explained the heavy downpours that led to flooding in some areas of the province along with damaging hail has hurt some producers more than others. Although, crop development, presently at 83 per cent good to excellent across Alberta, far exceeds the five-year average of 70 per cent.

“In cases where crops are not performing well, it is largely due to excessive moisture,” stated Shooshtarian.

“Harvest of winter cereals, dry peas and early-seeded barley has started in the southern region and will start shortly in the central and northern regions.”


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