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Alberta Crop Report - May 21, 2024

Another week of widespread rains brought needed relief to dry areas. Seeding delays were reported across the province due to wet conditions, but farmers were still able to progress 25 per cent to 58 per cent complete (Table 1). While many farmers welcomed the rain, some areas reported light snow, hail or near freezing temperatures. Sun and warm weather are needed across the province for the crops to reap the benefit of the recent moisture.

For seeding progress of major crops, dry peas are furthest ahead with 82 per cent complete, while oats are the slowest at 36 per cent complete. Regionally, the most progress is in the Peace Region, with 71 per cent complete, followed by the South Region with 71 per cent complete. The region with the most left to seed remains the North East Region, with only 42 per cent complete. For all crops, 21 per cent have emerged, 6 per cent ahead of the 5-year average as growth conditions have been moist and favorable for emergence, however, continuously wet soil and cool ground temperatures could hurt plant development. Following the trends of seeding progress, emergence is furthest ahead in the South, at 35 per cent emerged followed by the Central Region, with 23 per cent emerged. All other regions are below 15 per cent emergence. The majority of fall seeded crops in the province are rated in good to excellent conditions except in the Peace Region, where it has been reported that some fall seeded crops were tilled up due to poor plant counts, and re-seeded.

Precipitation continued to improve soil moisture conditions as areas around the province received numerous showers. Some areas received up to 2 inches in the Peace Region, over an inch in many areas of the North East, North West, and South Regions, and around half an inch in the Central Region, within the last week. Some areas received enough rain to have excess surface soil moisture with reports of standing water with excessively wet areas causing implements to get stuck (Table 3).

Provincially, surface soil moisture (sub-surface soil moisture) is rated as 1 (7) per cent poor, 16 (27) per cent fair, 59 (50) per cent good, 22 (16) per cent excellent and 2 (0) per cent excessive. Both surface and sub-surface soil moisture rated good to excellent are above the 5- and 10-year averages. 

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

  • Seeding of major crops progressed 30 per cent over the past week. Seeding progress for all crops (major crops) is now 71 (71) per cent complete, compared to the five-year average of 44 (44) per cent.
  • Reported sub-surface moisture (previous week) is 2 (5) per cent poor, 11 (27) per cent fair, 72 (64) per cent good, 15 (5) per cent excellent, and less than half a per cent (0) excessive.
  • Conditions of tame hay are reported as 17 per cent poor, 44 per cent fair, 40 per cent good, and 0 per cent excellent. 

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