Alta. seeding progress nears completion

(Resource News International) — Seeding progress in Alberta is still moving ahead and nearing completion, although at a slower pace than normal, said a provincial crops specialist. While recent snowfall was behind some of the delays, the precipitation was beneficial overall.

Doon Pauly, a crops specialist with Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development’s Ag-Info Centre at Stettler, estimated that seeding was about 75 per cent complete provincially as of May 20. While some areas were farther along than others, “generally we’ve had very few weather delays,” he said.

Most of the wheat, canola, and peas in the province were seeded, he said, with barley and silage crops accounting for most of the remaining acres left to go in the ground.

Alberta farmers usually like to see their seeding operations finished by Victoria Day (May 18), he said. However, colder weather and snowfall in some areas caused delays this year.

Most recently, he said, parts of central Alberta saw snowfall over the past weekend, which should keep producers off the fields in those areas for at least a couple of days, said Pauly.

While the snowfall caused seeding delays, it also helped ease some of the moisture concerns in the province, he said, and there were still some areas that were on the dry side, with moisture conditions in the province as a whole only fair to good.

Pauly thought there was enough moisture for the crops to get established, “but it won’t be long until they need some precipitation.”

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