Extreme heat and dryness continue to cripple Prairie field crops
By Top Crop Manager
As of July 13, conditions were pretty dire in Alberta due to the extended dry, extremely hot conditions. The high temperatures resulted in rapid progression through crop stages or stagnation, deterioration of crop conditions and yield damage.
Compared to the crop report from June 28, crop growing conditions dropped 32 per cent and are now rated as 37 per cent good to excellent, below the provincial five-year average of 74 per cent and the 10-year average of 73 per cent.
Pasture growing conditions are poor and fields are turning yellow or brown, with little re-growth. Some producers are silaging their cereals or pulses in order to salvage some crops. First cut hay yields were below average and the second cut is not promising, as fields are in need of immediate rain. |READ MORE
As of July 12, the extremely hot, dry weather and minimal rainfall continue to cause crops to rapidly advance their developmental stages. Currently, 36 per cent of the fall cereals, 29 per cent of spring cereals, 25 per cent of oilseed crops and 30 per cent of pulse crops are ahead of their normal stages of development for this time of year. The majority of crops are in poor to good condition.
The prolonged heat, coupled with the extremely dry topsoil conditions, has caused crops to be short, thin and rapidly advancing in many regions of the province due to the stress. Without a significant rainfall, many crops throughout the province will have their yields and quality severely impacted. |READ MORE
As of July 20, persistent drought conditions have downgraded the yield outlook for spring cereals, canola, and corn. Cereal crops are being cut for greenfeed, and canola stand architecture appears thin with smaller-than-normal pods after prolonged heat and drought.
Soybeans appear to be handling the heat better than most other crops, with most crops assessed as fair to good throughout the province, but will need timely rain to begin pod fill. First cut hay has largely finished, and there will be no second cut in most areas of the province unless cooler temperatures and significant August rains arrive.
Growers are advised to be on the lookout for grasshoppers, which have been feeding more extensively across the province; insecticide is being applied in all regions. |READ MORE