July 17th, 2024

Heat causing problems for Alberta crops

By Peggy Revell on August 1, 2017.

Medicine Hat News

Crops in the southern region of the province continue to be under stress due to high temperatures and lack of precipitation, according to Alberta’s weekly Crop Report.

“Precipitation amounts were down 30 per cent in May and 20 per cent in June from average. July rainfall only 30 per cent of normal for the month,” the report states, with the average temperature in July is almost three degrees celsius above normal, and the average max temperature is 30 C, four degrees above normal.

Crop development is progressing rapidly toward maturity, last week’s report stated — with reports of harvest operations started on winter cereals, field peas and barley.

Condition ratings fell five points. The biggest declines were to oats, which were down by 12 points, barley down by 11 points, and canola down by nine points.

The preliminary dryland yield estimates are down 15-20 percentage points from 2016.

The first cut dryland haying is completed at 1.4 tons/acre, and 87 per cent rated good or excellent for quality. No second cut is expected. The first cut for irrigated haying is completed at 3.2 tons/acre, with 93 per cent rated good/excellent quality. The second cut is 59 per cent complete.

The report also notes that the hot and dry weather in the south region is also affecting “significant portions” of the eastern half of the central region of the province, and parts of the northeast region.

Meanwhile, heavy rains across northern portions of the north east and north west regions have again placed crops under stress due to excessive moisture.

But the report also states that the current provincial ratings remain well above those of the worst two years in the past 10 year period, being 2009 (23 per cent g/e) and 2015 (30 per cent g/e).

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