Seeding in the central region is slightly ahead of the five-year average, says the latest Alberta Crop Report (Advocate file photo)

Seeding in the central region is slightly ahead of the five-year average, says the latest Alberta Crop Report (Advocate file photo)

Central region seeding slight ahead of average

Soil moisture in central region decent but of major concern in south

Seeding in the central Alberta region is slightly ahead over average, according to the latest Alberta Crop Report.

As of May 10, 22.7 per cent of major crops had been seeded, slightly ahead over the five-year average of 21.3 per cent. Last year, 31.5 per cent of crops were seeded by this time of year, says the report issued on Friday.

Dry conditions and cold temperatures have been the story in much of the province so far this spring. While the central and northern regions were doing better than other parts of the province with near-normal precipitation over the last 30 days, soil moisture is still below normal levels.

In the central region, most areas received precipitation in the last week, with accumulations of up to 20 mm in some areas.

“Soil temperatures and cool weather are hampering crop emergence.”

The cold has slowed hay and pasture growth, with 44 per cent of hay good or excellent and 48 per cent for pasture.

Soil moisture is decent with 47 per cent of surface and 54 per cent of sub-surface moisture rated good or excellent.

However, it is a different picture in the south where soil moisture is ranked extremely poor and “is of high concern.”

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