The heat and lack of moisture have hit crops hard across the Prairies. Central Alberta has fared better than most but yields are expected to suffer.
(Advocate file photo)

Alberta crops quality tops five-year average

Alberta’s final Crop Report of the 2021 growing season indicated significantly lower yields, but overall quality for all crops was above the five-year averages, with the exception of malting barley and oats.

In addition, farmers across the province were three to four weeks ahead in harvesting this fall due to favourable harvest conditions.

“The drought this year hurt our farmers and ranchers but their hard work and hope for a ‘better year next year’ is what built up our world-class agriculture sector,” said Devin Dreeshen, minister of agriculture and forestry.

Harvest in the central region is virtually complete and producers are progressing with fall fieldwork, the final crop report states.

“In some counties, livestock producers are purchasing feed and straw due to extremely dry conditions and heat stress from the growing season.”

Forage reserve estimates in this region are 10 per cent deficit, 17 per cent shortfall, 65 per cent adequate and 8 per cent surplus, while feed grain supplies are 9 per cent deficit, 15 per cent shortfall, 64 per cent adequate and 12 per cent surplus.

Fall-seeded crops are rated as 27 per cent poor, 18 per cent fair, 45 per cent good and 10 per cent excellent.

Surface soil moisture conditions (sub-surface ratings shown in brackets) are rated as 27 (34) per cent poor, 35 (29) per cent fair, 35 (35) per cent good and three (two) per cent excellent.

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