Dry conditions aid Alberta harvest, but moisture needed
September 18, 2023 By Top Crop Manager
A mostly dry week in Alberta allowed the crop harvest to progress from 14 per cent to 44 per cent complete, six per cent ahead of the five-year average, according to the province’s latest crop report.
Some regions, such as the northwest and northeast, reported overly saturated soil, but still made significant progress harvesting 12 and 15 per cent, respectively, during the last week. While the south region has been dry most of the harvest season and the Peace Region was dry this past week, both made progress with the south harvesting nine per cent and the Peace 21 per cent. This puts them at 16 and 21 per cent ahead of their five-year average, respectively. Since last week, the northeast region’s harvest progressed 15 per cent, but remains five per cent behind its five-year average.
Currently, harvest is furthest along in the south region at 80 per cent complete, followed by the Peace and central region, at 44 and 41 per cent complete, respectively. The northeast and northwest have the least crop in the bin and are both 24 per cent complete. Provincially, 95 per cent of dry peas are combined. Most canola has been swathed and is waiting to mature, with 19 per cent combined.
Precipitation has been limited over the last week, ranging from zero to 15 mm across the province and small areas in the northwest and central receiving between 15 and 25 mm. While the dry weather has helped harvest progress over the last month, more moisture is needed to assist fall seeded crops. Since last week, surface and sub-surface soil moisture rated good to excellent, although both decreased two per cent. Currently, surface soil moisture (five-year average in brackets) is rated at 32 (20) per cent poor, 30 (29) per cent fair, 28 (39) per cent good, 8 (10) per cent excellent and two (two) per cent excessive. Subsurface soil moisture is rated at 37 (24) per cent poor, 28 (29) fair, 28 (33) good, seven (12) per cent excellent and zero (one) per cent excessive.