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Northern Alberta Regions Further Behind on Harvest

The northern regions of Alberta have been particularly hard hit as wet weather has slowed the overall provincial harvest.
 
The latest weekly crop report on Friday pegged the harvest of all crops in the province at about 16% complete as of Tuesday, a single point behind last year and lagging the five- and 10-year averages of 23% and 20%, respectively.
 
But in the North West, just 2% of the crop was in the bin as of Tuesday, behind 9% for the five-year average, while only 3.4% of the crop was off in the North East, versus the average of 15%. Further, only 4% of the crop had been harvested in the Peace Region as of Tuesday, compared to 18% on average.
 
In contrast, in the relatively drier South Region, the harvest of all crops was reported at about 43% complete as of Tuesday, slightly ahead of last year and near the five-year average pace. An estimated 9% of the crop was off in the Central Region, about 7 points behind average.
 
Precipitation was variable across the province this past week, the report said, ranging from less than 5 mm in some parts of the Peace Region, to 30-40 mm in the North East and more than 40 mm in most parts of the North West Region. In the Southern Region, most areas received at least 20 mm of rain that was welcomed, although it did impact harvest progress.
 
Meanwhile, provincial yield estimates of selected crops sit below the updated model-based projections released by Statistics Canada earlier this week.
 
The province has spring wheat and durum yields at 49.7 and 27.9 bu/acre, respectively, below the StatsCan estimates of 51.1 and 34.7 bu/acre, while the province sees the average canola yield at 41 bu/acre, 1.4 bu short of the StatsCan forecast. The average Alberta barley yield is pegged by the province at 69.5 bu/acre, down from StatsCan’s estimate of 72 bu, and the dry pea yield estimate is a major 5.8 bu below StatsCan at just 37.2 bu.
 
Region One: Southern (Strathmore, Lethbridge, Medicine Hat, Foremost)
 
Although precipitation over the last weekend hindered harvest progress, producers were able to combine an additional nine per cent of their major crops from a week ago. Some producers are considering straight cut combining for canola.
 
About 45 per cent of all crops are still standing (compared to the 5-year average of 40 per cent), 12 per cent have been swathed and 43 per cent combined.
 
Crop quality for malt barley, the top two grades of spring wheat, durum wheat, oats, canola and dry peas are all above their provincial 5-year averages, but below average for barley number one and canola number one. For dry peas, about 38 per cent is graded as number one, 46 per cent as number two, 12 per cent as number three and 4 per cent as feed.
 
Second cut hay are 78 per cent complete on irrigated land, with yield reported at 1.8 tons per acre and quality rated as 78 per cent good to excellent. There is no second cut for dryland hay, due to dry conditions.
 
Pasture conditions are reported as 24 per cent poor, 40 per cent fair, 32 per cent good and four per cent excellent.
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