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Alberta Crop Report as of October 3, 2023

Crop Report, provided by the Government of Alberta Agriculture and Irrigation, as of October 3, 2023:

Harvest in Alberta progressed 8 per cent since last week and is now 88 per cent complete as of October 3 (see Table 1 and Figure). This is 13 per cent ahead of the 5-year average and 12 per cent ahead of the 10-year average. Provincially, 6 per cent of all crops are left standing as the other 5 per cent has already been swathed. The South Region is virtually complete with less than 1 per cent of major crops standing and the Central, North East and Peace Regions have less than 10 per cent standing and less than 8 per cent in the swath. In the North West Region, 15 per cent of the crop is still standing as well as 15 per cent in swaths. Provincially, major crops with the most left to combine are oats and canola which are 81 and 75 per cent complete, respectively. Compared to the 5- and 10-year average, harvest is ahead for all regions.   

Provincially, crop quality for hard red spring and oats are rating more in the top grade than the 5-year average while durum, barley, canola and dry peas are all grading less in the top grade than the 5-year average. Currently, 94 per cent of hard red spring wheat is grading in the top two grades while 84 per cent of durum is rating in the top two grades. While 27 per cent of barley has been rated as malt quality, 63 per cent has been rated at 1 C.W. Almost 18 per cent of dry peas are rating 1 Can. and 82 per cent of Canola is rated 1 Can.  

Image of Tables and Maps
Dryland yield indices have increased in the Central, North East, and North West Regions, stayed stable in the Peace Region and decreased in the South Region. Provincially, major crops are estimated to be yielding 93.6 per cent of their 5-year average yields (see Table 2). This has significantly increased since the original yield index of 84.7 estimated on August 8. Regionally since the first estimates, the yield index for the South has stayed stable while all other regions have increased. The best yields are seen in the North West and North East Region where yields are estimated to be 14.6 and 7.1 per cent above their 5-year average yield. Currently, the Peace Region yields are estimated to be 3.8 per cent below their 5-year yield average and the Central Region is 15.1 per cent below. The lowest yields are in the South Region where they are estimated to be 33.1 per cent below their 5-year average yields.  

Table 2 below contains bushel/acre yield estimates for major crops across regions. The 5-year yield index can be interpreted as the following; if the estimated dryland 5-year yield index of major crops in the South Region is 66.7, that indicates that provincial yields are estimated at 33.1 per cent below the 5-year average or 66.9 per cent of the 5-year average.  

Table 2 showing Regional Dryland Yield Estimations as of October 3 2023

Showers resulting in at least 5 mm were scattered across the province, while portions of the North West Region and west side of the South Region received up to 45 mm. These rains increased the surface and sub-surface soil moisture rated good to excellent by 3 and 1 per cent, respectively. Currently, surface soil moisture (5-year average in brackets) is rated 27 (19) per cent poor, 38 (27) per cent fair, 27 (40) per cent good, 6 (12) per cent excellent and 2 (1) per cent excessive (see Table 3). Sub-surface soil moisture (5-year average in brackets) is rated 35 (23) per cent poor, 33 (29) per cent fair, 26 (34) per cent good, 6 (13) per cent excellent and 0 (1) per cent excessive.  

Provincially, pasture growth conditions were stable from last week and currently 18 per cent are rated in good to excellent condition, below the 5-year average of 34 per cent. Regionally, the South, North East and North West Regions were stable while Central’s conditions rated good to excellent increased 3 per cent and the Peace region decreased 21 per cent. The poorest ratings are seen in the South at 4 per cent rated good to excellent, while the best ratings are in the North West with 38 per cent good to excellent. Of total dryland hay cut this season, 86 per cent is from the first cut while 14 per cent is from the second cut. Even though there was little second cut, quality ratings of 75 per cent good to excellent, were higher than first cut ratings of 41 per cent good to excellent. Provincial average hay yields for both first and second cut were 1 ton per acre while irrigated hay first cut yield average was 2 tons per acre and second cut was 1.6 tons per acre. Cattle continue to be turned out onto harvested fields as farmers are managing low feed supplies.  

Table 3 showing Alberta Surface Soil Moisture Ratings as of October 3, 2023

Region Five: Peace (Fairview, Falher, Grande Prairie, Valleyview)

  • There are still some oats and canola left to mature and harvest but last week saw combining progress 9 per cent to 91 per cent complete.
  • The crop yield index estimates that yields in the Peace Region are 96.2 per cent of their 5-year average.
  • Rains and frost were recorded around the region. Surface soil moisture (sub-surface soil moisture in brackets) is currently rated at 10 (9) per cent poor, 26 (25) per cent fair, 42 (38) per cent good, 23 (28) per cent excellent and 0 (0) per cent excessive.

To read the full report on all regions head to their website:

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