Cooler weather benefiting some crops in Alberta

Recent cooler temperatures seen across Alberta have been benefiting some crops in the province, a crop specialist said.
Neil Whatley of the Alberta Agriculture Info Centre said canola and pea crops were able to avoid flower blasting this July, because temperatures were cooler than normal.
Growing conditions have been generally favourable across the province, with most crops in good to excellent condition, Whatley said.
Precipitation has been variable and spotty, though there’s been enough rain in many areas to keep the ground saturated.
But, there are some areas that could use some rain, including the east-central and south-central regions of Alberta, Whatley said.
There have also been reports of adverse weather causing some problems in isolated areas across the province.
“We’ve had a few hailstorms, a couple fairly intensive,” said Whatley. “But, they’re just isolated storms here and there.”
There weren’t any concerns about cold temperatures or frost causing damage to crops as of the end of July, and most crops were developing at a normal pace, Whatley noted.
There were some reports of insects causing problems in various regions, but nothing too severe.
“We’ve got grasshoppers in the Peace region, northeast and northwest, he said. “They’re not bad, but there’s some there. Farmers are not spraying too much but there are some that are trying to control them.”
Bertha armyworm moth traps have shown low numbers, and should not be a big threat to crops this season. Lygus bug counts are also low, said Whatley.
There have been a few disease problems, including stripe rust in winter cereals, but it’s not affecting spring cereals very much. There have also been reports of some disease problems in canola.
“As we get near to the end of the growing season with canola there are some blackleg diseases symptoms showing up,” said Whatley.
Lodging was also reported as a problem in some regions, Whatley said.
“There’s some lodging going on because of heavy heads and quite a bit of yield potential there,” he said. “So, some of the crops in central and northern regions are lodging a bit.”

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