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Alberta Seeding Complete; Crop Emergence on Track with Average

The final push was delayed by rain in some parts of the province last week, but Alberta seeding is virtually now complete. 

Friday’s crop showed the planting of Alberta major crops (spring wheat, oats, barley, canola, and peas) at 99.6% complete as of Tuesday, up a few points from a week earlier and in line with the five- and 10-year averages of 99.4% and 98.7%. 

The report said final seeding efforts in the Central, North East, and North West regions were slowed by rain that was accompanied by persistent strong winds that led to an overall reduction in surface soil moisture in all areas but the Peace Region.  

Regardless, crop growth is off to a good start, with the South Region in need of timely rains while the rest of the province needs warmer temperatures, the report said. 

The emergence of major crops across the province is reported at 86%, which matches both the 5- and 10-year averages. Regionally, emergence of major crops is behind the historical average in the South and North East regions, while emergence is ahead in the Peace, North West, and Central regions. 

However, the report noted crops would be emerging faster, if not for persistent cooler temperatures. 

Surface soil moisture across the province was rated 66% good to excellent as of Tuesday, down from 75% a week earlier but still above the five- and 10-year averages of 59% and 62%, respectively. 

Surface soil in the South Region was rated the worst at less than half good to excellent (48%), while the North East was at the other end of the spectrum at 88% good to excellent. 

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

• Seeding is virtually complete for most crops in the South Region. Emergence for major crops is at 85 per cent, which is slightly below the 5-year average of 90 per cent and the 10-year average of 91 per cent.  

• Regional showers this past week have been localized, and windy conditions are depleting moisture. Wind, flea beetles, and grasshoppers have caused notable damage in some areas.  

• Sub-surface moisture is rated at 7 per cent poor, 45 per cent fair, 47 per cent good, 1 per cent excellent, and 0 per cent excessive.  

• Conditions of tame hay are reported as 5 per cent poor, 31 per cent fair, 63 per cent good, and 1 per cent excellent.  

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

• Seeding is practically complete in the Central Region, and crop emergence is progressing smoothly. Emergence for major crops is at 92 per cent, matching the 5-year average of 92 per cent and ahead of the 10-year average of 90 per cent.  

• There were scattered showers throughout most of the region accompanied by high gusts of wind. The strong winds depleted moisture levels, and crops will soon need rain to continue growth.  

• Sub-surface moisture rating is 11 per cent poor, 43 per cent fair, 45 per cent good, 1 per cent excellent, and 0 per cent excessive.  

• Tame hay conditions are reported as 3 per cent poor, 27 per cent fair, 70 per cent good, and 0 per cent excellent.  

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

• Seeding in the North East Region is nearly complete, and growing conditions are promising, generally. Emergence for major crops is at 83 per cent, which is behind the 5-year average of 90 per cent and the 10-year average of 87 per cent.  

• Windy conditions were reported throughout most of the region. Sub-surface moisture rating is 8 per cent poor, 17 per cent fair, 55 per cent good, 19 per cent excellent, and 1 per cent excessive.  

• Hay and pasture crops are progressing well. Conditions of tame hay are reported as 1 per cent poor, 27 per cent fair, 66 per cent good, and 6 per cent excellent.  

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