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Alta. sees harvest progress: AARD

(Resource News International) — Producers in Alberta made some
significant harvest progress over the past week, according to a
crop specialist with Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development.

“A return of warm and dry conditions resulted in a lot of
producers harvesting around the clock,” said Harry Brook, a crop
specialist with the provincial Ag-Info Centre at Stettler, on Tuesday. “A lot
of producers began harvesting late last week and did not stop
until their fields were bare.”

Brook estimated that overall, harvest activities in Alberta

were now past the 50 per cent completion level, which would compare with
the 30 per cent pace seen on Sept. 16.

Harvest operations were the furthest advanced in the Peace
district, the southern regions and the eastern portions of the
province at roughly 60 to 70 per cent complete, Brook said. Harvest
activities in the central areas of Alberta were the furthest
behind at 30 to 40 per cent done.

Brook said harvest progress will be slowed up by scattered
rains which began late Monday evening and are expected to
continue through the province Tuesday.

“Once the rains stop, producers will be back out in the
fields as soon as they are dry enough,” he said.

Crop yields continue to vary significantly.

Half an inch

“There’s been canola yields in the Peace district of only
2.4 bushels an acre, and that was because of the area only
receiving a total of half an inch of precipitation during the
entire growing season,” Brook said. “On the other end of that

scale, however, are producers in select areas who are achieving a
60-bushel-an-acre canola crop.”

Based on harvest results so far, he said, canola yields in
Alberta will be slightly better than normal, wheat yields will be
above average, oats about average and barley below average.

“There are concerns about the quality of barley being
harvested, especially in view of sprouting and bleaching,” he
said.

Most of the crops, while still behind in
development throughout the province, were generally beyond the
point where frost would cause any kind of significant damage, Brook said.

“There are frost warnings for Tuesday night in a number of
areas in the province with temperatures expected to drop down
into the -5°C range,” he said. However, actual damage to the crop will be minimal at best and actually may help producers by helping to dry out crops, he said.

Soil 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 applications.

“Producers are looking for good soaking rains, once the
harvest is complete, to replenish extremely dry top and subsoil
reserves,” Brook said.

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