About 77 per cent of central Alberta crops are in the bin, according to the latest Alberta Crop Report.
As of this past Tuesday, 13 per cent of crops in the central region are in swath and 10 per cent remain standing. Pulses are all reported as 100 per cent combined, whereas canola is only 46 per cent combined, flax 50 per cent and potatoes 20 per cent.
Provincially, 87 per cent of all crops were swathed or combined with an expected 10-year yield index of 107 and with grading expectations of the provincial wheat, barley, canola, and pea crops ahead of 10-year averages.
Combining across the province on all crops is now 77 per cent complete and well ahead of the 10-year average of 53 per cent.
Two weeks ago, on Sept. 6, combining of all crops was 37 per cent complete, meaning Alberta farmers have been able to harvest 40 per cent of all crops in the past two weeks.
Overall, for this time in the season, the southern region and the Peace region are ahead of harvest compared to this time last year but central, north east and north west regions are behind. Across the province, combine completion on all crops is relatively unchanged year-over-year (79 per cent at this time last year). Potatoes are the only crop significantly behind long-term averages for harvest completion.
Deteriorating soil moisture trends continue through most of the province, including central Alberta.
Many areas of the province have received less than 30 mm of rain since late July and a drying trend persists with areas around Red Deer and Olds having dry conditions that occur only once in 25 years.
June rain resulted in the above reported favourable yields for this growing season but roughly 70 per cent of the province is now back to below normal soil moisture. Both fall and winter precipitation will now be looked to for next year.
The central region’s surface soil moisture conditions (sub-surface shown in brackets) are rated as seven (15) per cent poor, 42 (44) per cent fair, 46 (40) per cent good and four (zero) per cent excellent.
Irrigated yield expectations across the province are, as expected, much less variable relative to their long-term normals, with most crops ranging in expectations from 98 to 103 per cent of normal.
Chickpeas and flax are the notable irrigated exceptions with irrigated chickpeas expected at only 91 per cent of five-year average and irrigated flax outperforming at 130 per cent of five-year yield expectations.