Favourable weather promotes Alta. harvest: AARD

Favourable weather conditions have allowed farmers in Alberta to make significant harvest progress, according to a crop specialist with Albert’s Ag-Info Centre.

Combining in southern regions of the province was estimated to be anywhere from 40 to just over 50 per cent complete, while in the central and northern areas swathing was underway, but very little combining has been initiated, said Neil Whatley, a crop specialist with the centre at Stettler.

“The slow pace of harvest operations in the central region was tied to two factors… one being the wet spring and the slow maturity of the crop due to the lack of heat units and steady precipitation,” he said.

Harvest operations in the Peace region district of northern Alberta varied widely. In the areas that have been dry, combining operations were advanced, he said, while in the wetter regions, only swathing of the crops has occurred.

Winter wheat operations were complete, while a good portion of the province’s peas and barley were also in the bin, he said.

“There are a lot of farmers currently swathing canola, with some of the larger producers working around the clock,” Whatley said. “The canola may not be mature, but these farmers are not going to take chances on losing the crop due to outside influences.”

Harvesting canola early was expected to result in smaller yield potential and reduced quality.

There was little input on yield potential of the crops.

Most of the disease issues were not necessarily apparent yet, but Whatley indicated that the lack of fungicide application on cereal crops, due to excessive moisture in the spring and summer, will lead to some issues.

Few major pest problems were apparent in Alberta’s crops, he said. 

Winter wheat seeding was reported underway in extreme southern regions of the province.

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