Early start to seeding in Alberta
By Top Crop Manager
May 8, 2015 - With an early snow melt in most of Alberta, conditions have presented themselves to allow producers to get an early start to seeding in all regions, and particularly in southern Alberta.With almost 27 per cent of the province seeded as at May 5, this represents the most advanced seeding progress since 2006 (32.3 per cent).
Cold night temperatures in the northerly regions during April slowed soil warming and delayed the start of seeding operations in those areas. Thirty-one per cent of the spring wheat, 25 per cent of the barley, 14 per cent of the canola and 55 per cent of the dry peas have been seeded to date. Emergence has been minimal with the exception of southern Alberta.
Almost 70 per cent of the province is rating surface soil moisture as good or excellent with a further 24 per cent rating as fair.
Windy conditions have been depleting soil moisture levels in the top couple of inches of the soil layer causing some producers to delay seeding of shallow seeded crops, especially canola.
Fall seeded crops survived the winter in good condition with 77 per cent rated as good or excellent and a further 16 per cent rated as fair. Hay and pasture crops have gotten off to a slow start due to dryness and the cold night temperatures. 69 per cent are rated in good or excellent condition with 26 per cent rated as fair.
Conditions have been very beneficial to getting an early start to the production year, but precipitation will be needed to bring on a strong finish to seeding, especially for the shallow seeded crops.