Harvest hits the Prairie provinces early

Top Crop Manager
Wednesday, 29 August 2018 | Western Canada
By Top Crop Manager
Dry warm weather continues to advance harvest across the Prairies, especially in Saskatchewan which reported harvest numbers double the five year average. Overall, southern regions experience poorer crop conditions.

Alberta
  • Crop conditions continue to gradually decline and are more than 8 points below the five year average of 65.4 per cent.
  • Crop conditions in southern Alberta have suffered more from the endured drought, with only 39.6 per cent rated as good or excellent condition.
  • The poor conditions in the south contrast conditions experienced in Peace Region, which are consistent with the provincial average, and conditions in the northeast region, which are higher than the provincial average. However, reported conditions in the northeast region have fallen four per cent since mid-August.
  • Overall, dry weather and unpredictable rain has resulted in less than preferred crop conditions and desired yields.
  • Producers are encouraged to review the available resources for Alberta producers during dry conditions.
For more information, such as regional crop conditions ratings, regional harvest progress, dryland yield estimates, and overall regional assessments, read the full Alberta crop report.

Saskatchewan
  • Harvest is significantly ahead of the five year average for the province, with 16 per cent of 2018 crop now in the bin. The five year average (2013-2017) is seven per cent of crop in the bin around this time.
  • Harvest is most advanced in the southwest, where 31 per cent of the crop is now combined. The southeastern region has 24 per cent combined, the west-central region 13 per cent and the east-central region seven per cent. The northeast now has four per cent combined, while the northwest has one per cent.
  • Twenty-two per cent of the crop is now swathed or ready to straight-cut.
  • Reported yields vary greatly, depending on moisture received in the past few months.
  • Topsoil moisture conditions have significantly worsened in the face of warm and dry weather.
  • Like Alberta, crops continue to dry down in southern and central areas which haven’t received significant rainfall.
For more detail, including a breakdown based on region and crop, read the full Saskatchewan crop report.

Manitoba
  • Warm, favourable weather continues to advance harvest.
  • Low humidity and limited rain cause premature ripening, limited pasture regrowth and very dry seed.
  • Spring cereal, canola, dry bean and early soybean varieties harvested. Potato top-killing has occurred.
  • Spring cereal yields have been better than expected with high protein and good quality.
For regional breakdowns, read the full Manitoba crop report.

Due to the dry conditions across the province, livestock producers will temporarily be allowed to cut hay and allow animals to graze on Crown land not normally designated for agricultural use, Ralph Eichler, Manitoba’s agriculture minister, announced last week.

Manitoba Agriculture provides a number of additional tools and resources for producers affected by dry conditions. The resources include the Manitoba hay listing service, information on managing pastures during dry conditions, alternative feed for beef cattle and options to stretch feed when supplies are tight. Crop producers are encouraged to consider making crop residue available to livestock producers.



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