Harvest winds up in Alberta

The harvest of crops in Alberta has come to an end, and it was “a good year,” according to Harry Brook, crop specialist with the Alberta Ag-Info Centre.

There may be some localized crops still standing, but everything else has come off the combine, he added.

“I would say there would be only a very, very small amount of crop left out, reason being either it’s for swath grazing or else they (the farmers) were just very slow,” said Brook.

For the most part, quality and yields were reported as being very good, said Brook.

“About 75 per cent (of the crop) came off in primo condition, and some of it got weathered a little bit, but not badly,” he said.

There were some issues with ergot in wheat and barley seen in various regions across the province, Brook added. Ergot is a fungal disease that reduces the quality of wheat. The ergot needs to be cleaned out of the crop, which can be done at cleaning facilities for a cost.

Farmers in the province are also seeing fairly dry soil moisture conditions heading into winter freeze up, so they will be hoping for more precipitation throughout the winter and next spring.

But, there was enough moisture to get the winter wheat crop off to a decent start, Brook added, noting that acreage was probably lower. In the fall of 2012, farmers in Alberta planted 145,000 acres of winter wheat, according to Statistics Canada.

“I’m extrapolating that there might be less winter wheat seeded in Alberta because we all had a later start, especially southern Alberta. They did get harvested first, but still there wasn’t really enough time (to seed winter wheat),” Brook noted.

How the winter wheat crop that was planted ends up will now depend on the weather conditions seen throughout the winter, including how cold it gets and how much snow cover there is.

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