First Prairie crop reports for 2021 now available
By Top Crop Manager
The Albertan, Saskatchewan and Manitoban ministries of agriculture have released their first crop reports for the 2021 growing season.
Seeding progress in Alberta is at 32 per cent, a significant increase from 14 per cent the previous week. This year’s progress is an improvement on last year (20.7 per cent), the five-year average (25.9 per cent) and the 10-year average (26.8 per cent). In contrast, the crop emergence rate, estimated at three per cent, is in line with five- and 10-year averages.
Surface moisture ratings are an improvement on the previous week’s ratings, when almost 50 per cent of soils were in the poor or fair range, though they are still far below the five-year average.
As of May 10, Saskatchewan’s seeding progress was 38 per cent, tied for the highest seeding percentage by this point in the season with 2019. This is more than double the 10-year average of 16 per cent, and close to twice the five-year average of 22 per cent. However, while seeding progress is strong, emergence has been delayed by sustained cool, dry weather.
As can be expected with the drought-like conditions experienced by many parts of the Prairies, moisture conditions are low. Cropland topsoil moisture is rated as zero per cent surplus, 31 per cent adequate, 45 per cent short and 23 per cent very short. Hay and pasture land topsoil moisture is rated as zero per cent surplus, 22 per cent adequate, 45 per cent short and 32 per cent very short.
These dry conditions are also raising risks for fires, and producers are reminded to be extremely careful when operating machinery and equipment that have the potential to spark or get very hot.
Manitoba’s first crop pest update was issued on May 12, covering current insect pest and weed issues growers should keep an eye on, as well as a forecast of likely pest problems. Flea beetles, specifically striped flea beetles, are emerging, and have been found in large numbers in some areas. The cool, dry weather has slowed weed development, but growers are advised to keep scouting to stay on top of the situation.
The update also offers information on timing canola seeding to avoid flea beetle damage and how to improve uptake of surface-applied nitrogen.