Warm weather hastens harvest

Recent warm weather has given Central Alberta farmers a boost in their efforts to bring in the 2014 crop.

Recent warm weather has given Central Alberta farmers a boost in their efforts to bring in the 2014 crop.

A crop report issued on Friday by Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development said harvest in Central Alberta was 73 per cent complete, as of Tuesday. About 16 per cent of the local crops were in swath, and 11 per cent were still standing. In the case of canola, approximately 76 per cent had been combined, with 19 per cent in swath and five per cent standing.

The report estimated that yields for major crops in Central Alberta were about 10 per cent above the five-year average. As for quality, it said that 60 per cent of spring wheat, 78 per cent of barley, 70 per cent of oats and 78 per cent of canola were in the top two grades.

About 85 per cent of hay production had come from the first cut, which was rated at 63 per cent good to excellent. The second cut was rated at 46 per cent good to excellent.

Provincewide, about 81 per cent of the crop had been harvested as of Tuesday. Eleven per cent was still in swath and eight per cent remained standing.

Farmers in Southern Alberta are the furthest ahead, with harvest there 91 per cent complete as of Tuesday. In the northeast region, 79 per cent of the crops had been harvested; in the northwest, 67 per cent were done; and in the Peace region, the completion rate was at 87 per cent.

Most crops in Alberta were expected to be near the five-year average when it comes to quality. Over 83 per cent of the barley, 80 per cent of the oats and 92 per cent of the canola were falling into the top two grades.

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