Alta. crops not yet ready for harvest: AARD

(Resource News International) — Some haying has begun in certain areas of Alberta but most crops are not yet ready to be swathed and will not be ready until closer to the end of the month, according to a provincial crop specialist.

Winter wheat and fall rye are being harvested in many areas of the province, while in the extreme southern section of Alberta field peas are also being combined, according to Neil Whatley, crop specialist with the provincial Ag-Info Centre at Stettler. Some barley has been silaged.

Farmers in the eastern Peace River district have also indicated that they are beginning to swath canola.

Generally, however, crop development is still roughly one week behind normal in Alberta and most crops will not be swathed until the end of the month or the first week of September, Whatley said.

Weather conditions were generally favourable during the week ended August 13. Many areas saw warm weather and sunshine and that helped speed up development.

Central Alberta and pockets east of Edmonton received some welcome rainfall and encouraged heads to fill up to five per cent more than otherwise would have been the case, Whatley said.

Overall, crops in Alberta are looking “pretty darn good,” apart from fields in the Peace regions, which were too dry for much of the summer, he said.

Localized hail storms were the main source of crop damage in the past week as is normal for this time of year. At this point in the summer, most threats from insects and disease have usually subsided, Whatley said.

Early frost will now be the greatest threat to crops in Alberta.

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