Alberta crops on schedule to avoid fall frosts

The majority of crops in Alberta are developing at a good pace, with most areas on schedule to avoid fall frosts, according to a provincial crop specialist.

Neil Whatley, crop specialist with Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development said that most of the province has received beneficial weather recently, which has helped fields develop at a good pace.

“We’ve had good moisture and good heat units from optimal sunshine,” said Whatley. “And, most areas of the province have received good rainfall.”

Whatley noted that some areas in the northwest and Peace regions of the province have had some excess rainfall, but in general the crops are doing okay.

There were also some earlier concerns about dryness in the northeast part of the province, but timely rains arrived and helped to alleviate those worries.

Isolated hail events occurred across the province recently, but the problem wasn’t widespread, Whatley noted.

Subsoil and surface moisture conditions were in good to excellent condition as of mid-July, he said.

There wasn’t a lot of major damage by disease to report as of mid-July. Though, there were some winter wheat crops damaged by stripe rust in the southern part of Alberta.

Whatley noted that farmers were busy applying fungicide to help prevent disease problems, mostly in cereal and canola crops.

“There’s been quite a bit of fungicide applied to prevent sclerotinia damage in canola, and some black leg prevention,” said Whatley.

Farmers were also applying fungicides to prevent leaf diseases in cereal and wheat crops.

There haven’t been any reports of serious insect issues in Alberta yet, except for a few grasshoppers in the northeast, Whatley said.

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