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Wednesday, 07 December 2016 14:22

Alberta Agriculture reports decent 2016 crop

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The harvest season for 2016 was one of the longest ones on record. Some producers began harvest operations in the first week of August and were unable to complete it until the end of November, due to cool wet weather that delayed harvest progress.


As of Nov. 29, Alberta producers combined 90 per cent of crops (see Table 1), with seven per cent in swath and three per cent standing. These will likely be left until the spring.
Moisture over last few months was beneficial for fall seeded crops, which are now rated as two per cent poor, 14 per cent fair, 60 per cent good and 24 per cent excellent.
Despite the harvest challenges for crops across the province, the dryland yield index was estimated 14.1 per cent above the five-year average (see Table 2). However, the crop quality for cereals are below their five-year averages, except malt barley which is higher. Crop quality for canola number one and the top two grades of dry peas are in line with the five-year averages. About 66 per cent of hard red spring wheat has now graded in the top two grades, down 12 per cent from the 5-year average.
About 54 per cent of durum wheat has graded Number 2 or better, down 23 per cent from the five-year average. About 23 per cent of barley is eligible for malt (up five per cent from the five-year average) and 60 per cent is graded as Number 1 (down seven per cent from the five-year average). About 58 per cent of oats is graded in the top two grades, down 20 per cent from the five-year average. Almost 81 per cent of harvested canola is graded as number one (in line with the five-year average), with 14 per cent graded as Number 2 (up two per cent from the five-year average). About 73 per cent of dry peas are graded in the top two grades, in line with the five-year averages.
Provincially, feed supplies are anticipated to be very good. Both forage and feed grain reserves are estimated as adequate to surplus, with very few producers anticipating a shortfall.
Forage reserves are reported as one per cent deficit, nine per cent shortfall, 62 per cent adequate and 28 per cent surplus, while the rating for feed grain reserves is three per cent deficit, four per cent shortfall, 61 per cent adequate and 32 per cent surplus.
REGIONAL ASSESSMENTS:
Region One: Southern (Strathmore, Lethbridge, Medicine Hat, Foremost)
• Harvest is complete in this region. Yields are above average, but quality has been impacted by the wet harvest season. Considerable fall works have also been done.
• Crop quality for malt barley, the top two grades of oats, canola number two and the top two grades of dry peas are above the provincial five-year average.
• Overall, forage reserves are reported as one per cent deficit, 18 per cent shortfall, 70 per cent adequate and 11 per cent surplus, while the rating for feed grain reserves is seven per cent deficit, four per cent shortfall, 70 per cent adequate and 19 per cent surplus.
• Fall seeded crops are rated as two per cent poor, 13 per cent fair, 56 per cent good and 29 per cent excellent.
Region Two: Central (Rimbey, Airdrie, Coronation, Oyen)
• About 93 per cent of crops (up two per cent from two weeks ago) have been harvested. Of the remainder, four per cent are still in swath and three per cent standing and likely not to be harvested until spring.
• While three per cent of spring wheat, four per cent of barley, five per cent of oats and canola are still in swath, four per cent of spring wheat and barley, five per cent of oats, two per cent of canola and nine per cent of flax are standing.
• Crop quality is below the provincial five-year averages for the top two grades of spring and durum wheat, as well as barley and canola Number 1. For the other crops, the quality is above the provincial five-year average.
• Regionally, forage reserves are reported as two per cent shortfall, 80 per cent adequate and 18 per cent surplus, while the rating for feed grain reserves is two per cent shortfall, 75 per cent adequate and 23 per cent surplus.
• Fall seeded crops are rated as 14 per cent fair, 80 per cent good and six per cent excellent.

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Matthew Liebenberg

Reporter/Photographer