Peace River area expected to produce below-average crop

CNS Canada — The Peace River region in northern Alberta is expected to produce a below-average crop this year because of dry weather in the area, according to a crop specialist.

The soil is in need of some moisture in the area, especially in mid-July, as it is a crucial period for crop development, Harry Brook, crop specialist with the Alberta Agriculture Info Centre said.

Environment Canada is calling for a 30 per cent of showers on Thursday, July 17, and a 60 per cent chance of rain on July 18, which could provide some relief for the crops in the Peace River district.

Most of the rest of the province should have average to above-average crops, though conditions vary from region to region, Brook said.

Crops are looking good in southern Alberta, with most areas seeing favourable conditions in central Alberta as well. But, some regions in central Alberta saw some hail damage last week.

“We had some hail come through last week; some fields got pulverized, but not a lot,” Brook said.

The northeast and northwest parts of the province are too wet in some areas, with localized pieces of land flooded out, he added.

There are some disease worries, with a fair bit of spraying going on to protect canola crops from sclerotinia. There were also reports of fusarium in peas, fusarium root rot and rust in winter wheat, though the rust hadn’t moved into spring cereals as of July 14.

Brook also noticed a lot of farmers have been spraying for cereal leaf disease, but it may only be precautionary as he hasn’t seen a lot of symptoms of the disease.

Insects weren’t too much of a problem, but there were a lot of grasshoppers around, Brook said.

“Nobody has phoned about them (grasshoppers) being a problem, but there seems to be quite a few insects out and about this year,” he added.
– Terry Shiells  writes for Commodity News Service Canada, a Winnipeg company specializing in grain and commodity market reporting.

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