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Alberta crop conditions rated high

Aug. 6, 2013, Edmonton, AB - Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development report that provincial crops are progressing well with spring cereals pollinating and entering the milk stage, canola and field peas at 55 – 65 per cent podding, and winter wheat in the soft to hard dough stage.

As of July 30, though weather patterns have shifted into a cooler, drier regime, frequent rain showers continue to delay haying operations and lower quality especially across the northern half of the province.

Crop condition ratings have declined marginally but remain high at 87 per cent rated good/excellent. Subsoil moisture ratings have declined to 81 per cent good/excellent from 88 per cent two weeks ago. Hay/pasture ratings have declined to 80 per cent good/excellent from 85 per cent on July 16. As of July 30, ratings are one per cent poor; 19 per cent fair; 59 per cent good; and 21 per cent excellent.

First cut dryland haying has been prolonged by July's showery weather. Dryland haying operations vary from virtually completed in the south region to 60 per cent completed in the northeast, northwest and Peace regions. Hay quality has suffered due to the extended haying period with only 66 per cent of the crop rated good/excellent.

Based upon current crop conditions, initial provincial yield estimates indicate yields could be 10 – 20 per cent above long-term averages for spring cereals, canola and field peas. Winter wheat yields are projected at five per cent above long-term averages.