Prairie harvest wraps up
October 26, 2022 By Top Crop Manager
Harvest across the three Prairie provinces has essentially wrapped up, with the three provinces issuing their final crop updates on progress, yield and quality.
As of Oct. 17, harvest is “virtually complete” across Saskatchewan, with producers facing virtually few delays throughout the fall harvest season. Only regions 5A and 5B sit at 98 per cent harvest completion whereas all other regions are complete. With that, producers have said they would like to see steady precipitation before the ground freezes. Crop yields vary throughout the province; yields in the southwest and west-central regions are once again below average, with some producers reporting slightly improved yields compared to last year. Yields in the eastern and northern regions were much improved and many producers are reporting yields higher than average. The largest impacts on yields this year were drought, gophers, grasshoppers, wind and drowned out crops in the spring. Average yields are being estimated as 44 bushels per acre for hard red spring wheat, 31 bushels per acre for durum, 93 bushels per acre for oats, 64 bushels per acre for barley, 36 bushels per acre for canola, 34 bushels per acre for peas and 1,165 pounds per acre for lentils. Quality ratings for all crops are largely in the top-two grade categories for each respective crop. The largest contributors to downgrading were light kernel weights due to drought, insect damage, grain bleaching or discolouring from rain, and an increase in diseases such as ergot in cereal crops such as spring wheat and durum.
Manitoba has issued its final provincial crop update of the year, with harvest 95 per cent complete as of Oct. 25. Corn harvest remains ongoing. While harvest progress generally caught up to previous years in the last month, fall fertilizer application is thought to be slightly behind. For yields, wheat has performed better than expected, between 40 and 85 bushels per acre, with an average of close to 60 bushels per acre for many farms. Corn yields have also been good, particularly in the central region where are reported at 150 to 180 bushels per acre. Sunflower and flax yields are estimated to be average to slightly above average. Soybean yields have been better than expected, with quality high.
Alberta also issued its final provincial crop report of the year, which covered the week ending Oct. 11. Harvest wrapped up two to three weeks ahead of established averages. With its final report, the province also issued its growing season summary. Dry conditions and cool temperatures made for relatively easy planting, however by the end of May there was no excess moisture anywhere in the province. June, however, was wetter than normal. From July to the end of the seasons, temperatures were above average. In terms of crop performance, spring wheat had an almost normal growth progression, while canola had some issues such as dry spring, flea beetles and cutworms leading to delay in growth. The warmth and the dryness enabled harvest to advance quickly. Provincially, quality for hard red spring wheat, canola and dry peas was above their five-year averages, while for durum wheat and oats, quality was lower. Quality for malt and feed barley was on par with the five-year average.