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Alta. harvest operations continue: AARD

(Resource News International) — The late development of crops in
Alberta continues to keep most harvest operations at bay, but
progress was being made in some areas, according to a crop
specialist with the provincial Ag-Info Centre.

Crop
development was estimated at a week to 10 days behind normal.

“Precipitation during the weekend slowed what little harvest
activity there was in the farmland around the Calgary area,” said Neil
Whatley, a crop specialist with Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development at Stettler.

Swathing of crops was the furthest along in the
southern regions of the province, he said Wednesday. Swathing was also underway in
some areas of the north.

The rain around the Calgary area was expected to keep
producers out of the fields for a period of three days or so, Whatley
said.

Yield potential for crops was estimated as high
for most areas of Alberta, he said, with the exception of the Peace
district and the areas north of Edmonton. He said yields in the
areas north of Edmonton were expected to be about average while
in the Peace district below average yields were anticipated.

“The biggest concern among producers now is trying to get
the crops off before a killing frost occurs,” Whatley said.

Frost during the weekend was not expected to have
resulted in any significant damage, he said.

“Temperatures dropped into the -2 to 3°C range in the Barrhead area of Alberta for a period of eight hours or
so,” Whatley confirmed. “However, the crops were ripe enough that

the damage should be minimal.”

He said temperatures would have had to drop below -5°C and would have to be of a long duration in order for there to
have been more serious damage.

Insect and disease damage to crop in Alberta was described
as minimal, Whatley said.

The first cut of hay in the province was rated as good, but
Whatley said the lack of rain in late July and early August
resulted in few producers getting a second cut.

The planting of winter wheat and fall rye in Alberta was
also underway where possible, Whatley said. Early
indications were that producers would increase the area to winter
cereals over the previous year’s level, he added.

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