Alta. crops still need more heat: AARD

(Resource News International) — Grain and oilseed crops across much of Alberta benefited from recent warm temperatures, but more of those weather conditions are required in order to help speed up the maturity rate, according to a provincial crop specialist.

“Producers in the province are starting to think it’s a bit of a losing battle to get the crops to maturity before the frost hits,” said Harry Brook, a crop specialist with the Alberta Ag-Info Centre at Stettler.

Brook estimated Wednesday that most crops in the province were still about two to three weeks behind in development.

“Considering we’re at the point where there is now a 50 per cent probability of a killing frost occurring, the odds of seeing crops reach full development is quickly diminishing,” he said.

The harvest of the pea crop in Alberta was the furthest along with barley in select areas also being cut, he said.

Canola swathing is also underway in select areas, but producers were cutting those still-green fields so as to avoid frost damage, Brook said.

Some spring wheat was being harvested in the extreme southern regions of Alberta, but otherwise very little progress has been reported to date, he said.

Some of the harvesting also currently underway in the province is for greenfeed for livestock, he said.

Brook noted very little frost damage has been reported to date, but temperatures have been cooling off significantly at night

Another issue for producers in the province continues to be the different stages of growth in each field.

“In some instances, producers have three stages of growth,” Brook said. 

Grasshopper damage was evident in crops in the northeast, northwest and Peace districts of the province, Brook said. Some lygus bugs were also evident in some fields.

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