Two combines harvest wheat, Thursday, Aug. 5, 2021, near Pullman, Wash. Across eastern Washington, a drought the National Weather Service classified as "exceptional" has devastated what is normally the fourth largest wheat crop in the nation. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

Nearly half of central Alberta crops harvested

About 45 per cent of central Alberta crops are now in the bin, according to Government of Alberta’s latest crop report.

Another 22 per cent of crops have been swathed and 33 per cent of crops still standing in the region, the Sept. 7 report states.

To date, the quality for the harvested spring and durum wheat, barley and canola are better than their five-year averages, while oats and dry peas are below.

Second cut haying on dryland is 80 per cent complete (compared to the five-year average of 48 per cent), with yield estimated at 1.2 tons per acre and below the five-year average of 1.5 tons per acre.

For irrigated haying, it is 35 per cent complete (compared to the five-year average of 19 per cent), with yield estimated at 1.2 tons per acre, slightly above the five-year average of 1.1 tons per acre.

Quality for dryland hay (irrigated hay shown in brackets) is rated as 17 (20) per cent poor, 40 (60) per cent fair and 43 (20) per cent good.

Pasture conditions are rated as 32 per cent poor, 36 per cent fair, and 32 per cent good.

Throughout most of the province, precipitation has shifted from a “drier than normal” trend, to an “above normal” trend since the beginning of August.

Over this period, precipitation was extremely variable in different regions, but improved soil moisture reserves provincially, with the south region improving the most. Surface soil moisture is now rated at 32 per cent poor, 32 per cent fair, 35 per cent good and one per cent excellent. Hail was reported in some areas, impacting yields negatively.

Due to favourable weather over the past week, harvest advanced 17 per cent for major crops from a week ago.

As of Sept. 7, about 45 per cent of all crops have been combined, more than doubled from last year’s progress of 22 per cent, and was ahead of both the five-year (2016-2020) and 10-year (2011-2020) averages of 21 per cent. Another 20 per cent of crops are currently in swath, while 35 per cent is still standing.

Harvest has advanced for all regions.

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