Prairie Post (East Edition)

Alberta Crop Report (Crop conditions as of May 9)


Alberta Agricultur­e

A provincial state of emergency was declared on May 6, 2023 due to numerous wildfires. Albertans who require assistance can call 310-4455 for wildfire related informatio­n 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Survey responses from the North West, North East and Peace regions indicated that wildfire activity is affecting some crop and pasture land. Evacuation­s, road closures and wildfire activity may impact seeding progress over the next week.

Since the survey last week, seeding has now begun and is progressin­g significan­tly in all areas of the province due to unseasonab­ly warm temperatur­es. Observers report provincial seeding progress as 24 per cent of major crops seeded compared to the fiveyear average of 23 per cent and 10-year average of 26 per cent (Table 1). The included map shows how some regions experience­d a greater departure from the long-term average temperatur­es over the past two weeks, with the red and pink areas seeing the greatest deviation. While progress in the South is still 16 per cent behind the five-year average for major crops, the North West and Peace regions are notably ahead of average, respective­ly with 22 per cent and 33 per cent of major crop seeding complete compared to the five-year averages of 13 per cent and 11 per cent. Emergence of major crops has begun with the South region reporting three per cent, the Central region reporting one per cent, the North East region reporting zero per cent, the North West region reporting one per cent and the Peace region reporting one per cent. The provincial average for crop emergence is one per cent.

Survey respondent­s reported scattered showers across the province over the last week. Both surface and sub-surface soil moisture ratings remain mixed across the province. Currently, surface soil moisture across the province is rated 15 per cent poor, 31 per cent fair, 47 per cent good, seven per cent excellent with less than one per cent having excess surface soil moisture (Table 2). Sub-surface soil moisture ratings across the province are at 17 per cent poor, 38 per cent fair, 40 per cent good, five per cent excellent and less than one per cent excessive.

Regional Assessment­s:

Region One: South (Strathmore, Lethbridge, Medicine Hat, Foremost)

Rainfall for the week ending May 9 was sporadic resulting in many areas of this region receiving minimal moisture, however, this allowed seeding operations to gain some lost ground and also boosted greening up of the perennial crops.

Seeding progress on major crops has jumped week over week with an additional 25 per cent of acres seeded since the last report of seven per cent.

Responders have rated fall-seeded crop conditions at five per cent poor, 33 per cent fair, 51 per cent good and 11 per cent excellent.

Tame hay conditions have eight per cent poor, 40 per cent fair, 51 per cent good and one per cent excellent. Sub-surface soil moisture conditions (below six inches) are currently rated 16 per cent poor, 39 per cent fair, 31 per cent

good and 14 per cent excellent with none rated excessive.

Region Two: Central (Rimbey, Airdrie, Coronation, Oyen)

Weather in this region for the week ending May 9 was a mixture of some warm temperatur­es with spotty rain or showers that will support crop germinatio­n and emergence, as well as bring along the hay and pasture crops.

Seeding progress on major crops is reported with an increase of 20 per cent week over week.

Fall-seeded crop conditions are currently five per cent poor, 19 per cent fair and 76 per cent good in this region.

Tame hay condition ratings for this week are seven per cent poor, 39 per cent fair, 54 per cent good with no ratings of excellent.

Sub-surface soil moisture conditions (below six inches) are currently rated 23 per cent poor, 29 per cent fair, 48 per cent good with none rated as excellent or excessive.

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