Over the past week most of the province received upwards of 20 mm of rain, which helped dry areas and somewhat alleviated moisture stress on cereals and oilseeds crops. Localized areas around Calgary, Red Deer, Rocky Mountain House, Valleyview/High Prairie and Smoky Lake received over 50 mm of precipitation. Scattered hail storms were reported in a few areas with some crop damage. Areas missed by the recent rains included northern and western parts of the Peace Region and the south east area of the South Region, where both locations received less than 10 mm of rain.
Due to the recent rainfall, surface soil moisture ratings across the province improved by 10 per cent this week to 30 per cent good to excellent. However, soil moisture conditions remain extremely low through many areas, especially north of Edmonton and through much of northern and eastern Peace Region. Sub-surface soil moisture conditions are on par with last week, rated as 28 per cent poor, 47 per cent fair, 23 per cent good and two per cent excellent. Significant rain would still be welcome to help crops fill as well as improve hay and pasture conditions, especially in the areas with low soil moisture reserves.
Provincially, crop growing conditions did not changed significantly from last week and are rated as 27 per cent poor, 43 per cent fair, 29 per cent good and one per cent excellent. Spring wheat is rated as 26 per cent poor, 41 per cent fair, 32 per cent good and one per cent excellent, and canola is at 33 per cent poor, 42 per cent fair, 24 per cent good and one per cent excellent. Some producers are cutting crops for greenfeed in anticipation of low winter feed supplies.
Tame hay and pasture continue to show the full effects of the dry spring and summer conditions, although the recent rain helped turn pasture green in some regions. Provincially, hay and pasture conditions are reported as 48 per cent poor, 38 per cent fair and 14 per cent good. Grasshoppers remain an issue in many areas across the province, with the most damage being reported in the Peace Region.