Cold weather halts harvest in Prairies

Top Crop Manager
Wednesday, 26 September 2018
By Top Crop Manager
An early harvest has come to a halt as cold wet weather conditions sweep across the Prairies. The cooler humid weather has stalled progress in almost all three provinces, raising concerns about crop quality and frost damage. However, the recent rain has improved soil moisture conditions which is good news for fall seeded crop.

Alberta
  • Cold wet weather halts harvest progress in almost all areas of the province.
  • Alberta’s harvest is down 23.4 points from where it was last year at this time for binned crops.
  • The five year index displays all regions behind an average of 19.6 points for crops harvested, with current year at only 32.6 per cent combined.
  • Preliminary grades on harvested crops are projected to be 75 per cent for cereals and 88 per cent for peas. However, the recent ongoing cold wet weather might reduce the quality of cereal acres still out in the field.
  • Expected yields are aligned with the 10 year index. The south region is significantly below normal, but this is offset by the above average performance of Peace region.
  • Recent precipitation has helped improve soil moisture ratings.
  • Improvements in soil moisture have reflected in better fall seeded crop conditions, with 9.8 per cent fall seeded crop conditions as excellent and 67.3 per cent as good.
For more specific regional assessments, read the latest Alberta crop report.

Saskatchewan
  • Cool wet weather stalls harvest progress and snow has been reported in the northwest region.
  • 62 per cent of crop is now in the bin, which is above the average of 53 per cent for this time of year. The above average result could be because of the province’s early harvest which pulled it significantly ahead of its five year average.
  • Harvest is most advanced in the southwest region, where 86 per cent of the crop is now combined. The southeast region has 84 per cent combined, the west-central 57 per cent and the east-central region 55 per cent. The northeast region has 29 per cent combined while the northwest region has 17 per cent combined.
  • Twenty-six per cent of the crop is now swathed or ready to straight-cut, only a four per cent increase from its progress a month ago.
  • 96 per cent of the lentils, 95 per cent of the field peas, 78 per cent of the durum, 50 per cent of spring wheat, 44 per cent of the canola and 25 per cent of the flax has now been combined.
  • Similar to Alberta, topsoil moisture conditions have improved.
For more detail, including a breakdown based on region and crop, read the full Saskatchewan crop report.

Manitoba
  • Cool wet conditions continue to stall harvest.
  • Snowfall on Saturday has since melted in most areas, adding to the September precipitation accumulation.
  • Frost was recorded in the southwest and northwest regions on Sept. 5, which is a week earlier than the average date of fall frost. Manitoba Agriculture issued a special frost report to help producers manage frost damage.
  • Overall harvest progress gauged at 73 per cent, compared to 71 per cent last week and 67 per cent on September 10th.
  • Seeding of fall cereals mostly complete, fall soil sampling and tillage operations have started.
  • Forages and pastures have benefited from precipitation, but cool temperatures have slowed re-growth.
For regional breakdowns, read the full Manitoba crop report.

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