Wet weather delays harvest in some parts of Alberta

Farmers throughout Central Alberta were busy in the fields this past week as they worked to finish their harvest before flurries begin to fall and colder weather settles in. Flurries and rain are in the forecast for the upcoming week. Ashli Barrett / Lacombe Globe

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As expected, most of the harvest that has taken place is in the South region despite spotty showers and morning dew. 

As of Sept. 3 the provincial harvest of 8 per cent complete falls almost 6 points below the 5-year average of 14 and is a couple of points lower when compared to the 11 per cent that was combined at this time last year. As crop immaturity and wet fields persist, general harvest of major crops in the North East and North West has yet to commence, with very little taking place in the Peace. 

While harvest is delayed in the North East and North West regions, there is a bit of haying occurring with condition estimates predominately good and excellent. Whereas the South’s hay conditions lean more toward poor and fair ratings, hay in the Peace region is decent, rated as mostly fair to good. 

Across the province crops are also being silaged, baled and swath grazed as some producers are in need of livestock feed. The showers are keeping pastures and hay green which is good, never the less warm dry days are needed to get the hay up. Hay poor condition ratings are 9 per cent, fair 30, good ratings are 47 and excellent ratings are 14. Pasture poor ratings are 17 per cent, fair 33, good 40 and 10 per cent rated as excellent.   

For Region Three, which includes Smoky Lake, Vermilion, Camrose, and  Provost there is very little harvest underway with estimates in at 1 per cent combined as compared to the 5-year average of 6.  

Swathed numbers are reported at 3 per cent and are 17 points lower than the 5-year average of 20.  Peas harvest is at 16 per cent combined, 6 per cent of canola is swathed and 5 per cent of barley.

There are no reports of poor surface or subsurface soil ratings. Surface soil fair ratings are 4, good ratings are 52, 36 per cent are rated as excellent with 8 per cent rated as excessive. Subsurface soil fair ratings are 3, good are 42, excellent ratings are 54 and 1 per cent rated as excessive.

Pasture poor condition ratings are 2 per cent, fair are 16, good 50 with 32 rated as excellent. Hay poor condition ratings are 5 per cent, fair are 21, good 32, and excellent 42.  

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