Harvest past the half way point

Central Alberta farmers are looking for help from the weatherman as they struggle to get the 2014 crop into the bin.

Central Alberta farmers are looking for help from the weatherman as they struggle to get the 2014 crop into the bin.

A crop report issued by Agriculture Financial Services Corp. on Friday calculated that harvest in this region was about 58 per cent complete, as of Sept. 30. Although an improvement from 39 per cent as of Sept. 23, the rate was well behind the provincial average of 72 per cent.

The report suggested that an extended period of dry weather is needed, particularly in west-Central Alberta, where only 35 per cent of crops had been harvested. By comparison, the central and east portions of Central Alberta were 65 and 75 per cent harvested respectively.

Recent precipitation has hampered combining, but it also helped improve soil moisture ratings in this area. About 73 per cent is now considered good or excellent, up from 68 per cent a week earlier. Sub-soil moisture ratings are 77 per cent good or excellent, as compared with 69 per cent previously.

The report said 90 per cent of pastures and 86 per cent of tame hay is good or excellent.

Harvesting is most advanced in the south and Peace regions of the province, with more than 80 per cent of crops combined as of Sept. 30

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