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Alta. harvest steams ahead: AARD

(Resource News International) — Alberta’s farmers made significant
harvest progress over the past week in view of favourable weather
conditions, according to a crop specialist with the provincial Ag-Info Centre.

“The forecast for the next week is for excellent conditions,
which will allow for even better harvest progress,” said Harry Brook,
a crop specialist with the provincial extension centre at Stettler, on Tuesday.

Provincially, he estimated, the harvest was past the 60 per cent completion rate and if the weather forecast holds true, up to 85-90 per cent of the various crops would be in the bin by the end of the week.

Most of the crops left to be harvested include barley,
canola and some flaxseed.

Harvest operations were furthest along in the Peace
district as well as in southern regions. Progress was slowest in the central region.

However, Brook said, the central region is also where yields have been the highest so far.

“In the central region, we’re seeing 60-bushel-an-acre
canola, 70 bu./ac. hard red spring wheat, 80 to 90 bu./ac. CPS wheat
and 110 bu./ac. barley,” Brook said.

The well-above-average yields in the central region,
however, will be offset by average to below-average yields in the
eastern region of the province as well as in the drought-stricken
regions of the Peace district.

Brook also felt the quality of the crops being
harvested would also be above-average in general, with the
exception of some isolated areas.

“There had been some concerns about sprouting and bleaching,
but it appears the damage was not as significant as first
feared,” he said.

Pasture conditions in the province were seen as poor. Brooke noted that in some localized areas, cattle producers have already had to turn to feed rations in order maintain herd growth.

Subsoil moisture conditions throughout the province were
said to be on the dry side, and because of that, producers who
have completed the harvest were waiting for precipitation before
applying fall herbicides.

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