This precipitation map shows just how much wet much of the province has been as of July 9. Image: Alberta Agriculture and Forestry

Wet conditions hampering haying efforts

Crops throughout central Alberta doing decently for now

There has been a lot of moisture received in the central portion of Alberta this year, but it may not affect crops come this fall.

Harry Brook, crop information specialist with Alberta Agriculture and Forestry (AFF), explained that a significant amount of precipitation has fallen in an area encompassing Grande Prairie, Slave Lake, Athabasca, Vegreville, Stettler, Calgary and along the foothills. The hardest hit regions run south from the Peace region to the U.S. border and extend east to Highway 2.

“The biggest concern isn’t the crops, that may come later on and it still might only affect harvest figures by about five to 10 per cent and that can be made up for if the heat returns,” Brook said.

“What the huge concern now is for hay. With so much rain, the hay has grown a lot and quickly. However, there hasn’t been much cut as the ground has never dried enough to get at it.

“If this unsettled weather keeps up and the hay gets too mature, it will make for poor quality.”

In addition, the humid conditions haven’t been good for hay that’s been swathed, since it doesn’t have time to properly dry.

Another concern though, especially for dairy producers across the region, is that corn crop growth is far behind normal.

“The corn crops out there now are in terrible shape,” Brook stated.

“I’ve looked at the heat unit values at various weather stations across the province and its not good. Corn performs best in temperatures at 25 degrees and above. If this weather pattern continues, there will be some really poor yields around the province.”

Disease trouble

With the large amount of moisture this year, Brook noted that producers are going to have to be on the watch for disease issues such as fusarium head blight for example.

“With this amount moisture and tight crop rotations, producers should expect the potential for disease formation,” he explained.

He also anticipates many farmers to simply go ahead and spray fungicide, but Brook issued some words of caution on this.

“Go out and check first for symptoms of disease in your crops, rather running the risk of wasting money on spraying that isn’t necessary,” he advised.

“If we use it just because and there begins to be development of resistance, then we wind up losing another tool to fight disease.”


This map shows the difference between current moisture received and the long-term normal levels, which indicates much of the central region is normal to above average. Image: Alberta Agriculture and Forestry

Just Posted

Ponoka County agrees to next step for Rimbey Agrim

Full time manager will help Rimbey Agrim Centre’s financial stability

Ponoka County grader lease program will continue

Bridge tender awarded, gravel work extended until September

Over 1,000 barrel racers pouring into Ponoka next week for ABRA Finals

Over a thousand barrel racers will be converging on Ponoka next week… Continue reading

Downhill Derby deadline due directly

Ponoka’s annual soapbox race slated for Sept. 7

QUIZ: How much do you remember about Woodstock?

Weekend music festival in Bethel, New York, was held 50 years ago

Chrystia Freeland condemns violence in Hong Kong, backs right to peaceful assembly

There have been months of protests in the semi-autonomous region

‘It’s just the freedom:’ Paralyzed Broncos player pursuing life on the water

The former Humboldt Broncos goaltender, who started in the net when he was nine, was paralyzed last year


RCMP looking for whereabouts of 15-year-old girl missing since June 25

Central Alberta Buccaneers punch ticket to AFL Final

28-20 win over Fort Mac sets up likely date against Calgary Wolf Pack

Canadians killed in Afghanistan honoured during emotional dedication ceremony

One-hundred-fifty-eight Canadian soldiers died during the mission

Discussion on grief and loss between Stephen Colbert, Anderson Cooper goes viral

The exchange includes emotional question from Cooper, and outlook on grief as a child

Toronto activist calling on federal parties to nominate more black candidates

Fewer than 20 black Canadians have been nominated so far, including some Liberal MPs seeking re-election

First Nations women finally to be treated equally under Indian Act: Bennett

Canadian Feminist Alliance for International Action thanked the feds

Most Read