Alta. crops need rain: AARD

(Resource News International) — The absence of rainfall in Alberta
has hindered development in various crops, according to a provincial
crop specialist.

“The lack of rain has really changed what was seen as a very
promising crop,” said Doon Pauly, a crop specialist with the Alberta
Ag-Info Centre in Stettler, on Tuesday.

The weather outlooks for the province were calling
for precipitation later in the week, he said, and it was hoped that the
moisture would be widespread and significant.

“The subsoil moisture reserves are very depleted, so a good
soaking would be welcomed by producers,” Pauly said, noting that
if a decent rain was received, crops in the dry areas would
improve.

The areas that would benefit the most from the precipitation
include the Edmonton area through to the Peace River region, he
said.

Pauly said the areas in need of rain are now looking at only
average production.

“There are still a few regions in which above average crops
are anticipated, but those areas have received more frequent
shower activity than others,” he said.

The wheat- and durum-growing areas of southern Alberta were doing well
because of the warm readings and adequate showers, he said.

There were a few isolated regions of the province where soil
moisture levels remain excessive and crop development has been
slow as a result.

Disease concerns for the crops have diminished significantly
amid the absence of moisture, Pauly said. However, wheat midge
has become a key issue among producers with those fields.

Otherwise, the insect threat to crops was seen as minimal, Pauly said. He noted there were some cutworms, root maggots and
cabbage pod weevil problems in select canola growing regions.

Winter wheat fields in Alberta were doing well, Pauly said.

First-cut haying was underway throughout the province, he
said.

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