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)

Rain brings ‘widespread relief’ to Central Alberta farmers: Alberta Crop Report

Crop seeding is 100 per cent complete in region

Central Alberta crop reporters were communicating widespread relief with this past week’s rains, according to the provincial government.

Most areas in Alberta’s Central region had five to 30 millimetres of rain, the government said in the latest Alberta Crop Report, which features crop conditions as of this past Friday.

“A large portion of the Central and South regions received 20-50 mm of rain over the last seven days,” the report said.

“This significant rainfall event was both timely – in that seeding for those regions is now largely complete – and meaningful – as those regions had the greatest need for moisture.”

Sixty per cent of surface soil moisture in the central region of Alberta is now rated as good or excellent.

Crop seeding is 100 per cent complete. About 94 per cent of major crops have emerged which is the highest level of all regions in the province. There are reports of canola reseeding due to frost.

Pasture and tame hay fields are delayed from cool spring temperatures. Pasture conditions (tame hay shown in brackets) are rated as 14 (eight) per cent poor, 30 (21) per cent fair, 51 (63) per cent good and five (seven) per cent excellent.

Overall, seeding progress for major crops in the province is now 99 per cent complete, up 26 per cent from two weeks ago, and in-line with completion for the five-year and 10-year averages of 98 per cent. All regions except the Peace are over 99 percent complete and basically finished seeding of major crops. Seventy eight per cent of major crops have now emerged across the province, only modestly behind the five-year average of 82 per cent.

Last week’s precipitation improved soil moisture reserves for the South, Central and Peace regions, but the North West and North East marginally declined.

Despite the improvement in most areas, soil moisture reserves remain below long-term average for most parts of the province, with the exception of the Peace region.

Pasture and tame hay conditions are relatively unchanged from the previous week. While recent precipitation offers opportunity for significant growth in the coming weeks, cool spring temperatures have also been a large growth limitation.

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