Alta. seeding half to two-thirds done: AARD

(Resource News International) — An eight-day streak of favourable
weather allowed farmers in Alberta to make significant seeding
progress across the province, according to a crop specialist with
the provincial Ag-Info Centre.

Seeding operations
had been estimated at 20 to 25 per cent complete on May 13.

Seeding of the various crops in southern Alberta was said
to be the furthest along, with producers finished planting in
some regions, said Mark Cutts, a crop specialist with Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development’s Ag-Info Centre in Stettler.

Planting operations in the central, northern and Peace River
regions of Alberta were estimated at 50 to 60 per cent complete, although
areas in the Peace may be as much as 75 per cent finished,
Cutts said.

Producers in Alberta were said to have finished seeding
peas, with most of the intended wheat area also in the ground, he
said. Canola planting was believed to be well underway with
barley likely to be the next crop on which producers focus their attention.

“The precipitation that is falling in the province today
(Wednesday, May 21) and that has been forecast for Thursday is expected
to help replenish dry soils and aid in the germination of the
recently planted fields,” Cutts said.

He said 10 to 15 millimetres of rain were expected each day,
which would total just under an inch.

The driest region of Alberta continues to be in the east,
Cutts said. Moisture conditions in the remainder of Alberta for
crop germination were rated as good.

Cutts said there has been some emergence of early-seeded

cereal crops, but the development so far remains limited.

The precipitation, meanwhile, was expected to help green up
winter wheat crops across the province, Cutts said.

He acknowledged cool temperatures have resulted in slow
growth of winter wheat in general, but the precipitation and
weather outlooks calling for warmer readings were expected to
speed up the development of those crops.

Winterkill to fall-seeded crops has so far been minimal,
Cutts said.

Pastures and hay fields were also looking good, Cutts
said, noting that the arrival of precipitation will be
beneficial.

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