By Top Crop Manager
May 3, 2016 - Alberta producers enter the 2016 crop production season with many of the same questions and concerns as last year and maybe more so.
According to the province's first crop report of the season, precipitation last fall provided some soil moisture replenishment following the dry conditions of 2015 but amounts were generally insufficient to recharge the subsoil layer. A warm, dry winter resulted in little snow cover to seal the soil and provide some early moisture for the crop to use. The snow was quick to leave in March providing the opportunity for an early start to seeding for those who could take advantage.
Seeding is off to another faster than average start with 21 per cent of the province seeded versus 27 per cent last year. The five year average for this date is nine per cent and the long term average is 15 per cent.
Approximately three per cent of crops have emerged. Soil moisture is a huge concern in all regions. Producers have slowed or delayed seeding of shallow seeded crops such as canola, in hopes of receiving additional precipitation.