Alberta Crop Report - May 3, 3012

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 This information has been made available by Agriculture Financial Services Corporation.

The May 3, 2012 Crop Report is also available as a PDF file on the AFSC website.

Prepared by:
James Wright
Business Risk Management Division
Actuarial & Program Readiness
AFSC, Lacombe
Telephone: (403)782-8336

The 2012 crop year is off to a promising start. Seeding is estimated at 12.3% completed, down slightly from the long term average of 16.4% but ahead of the average for the last 5 years of 8.2%. Fall seeded crops have emerged from the winter in good condition with 75% rated good/excellent. Southern Alberta fall seeded crops are rated 90% good/excellent.

Surface soil moisture is very good in most regions with over 75% of the province rated good/ excellent. The exception is the Peace region with over 60% of the area rating surface moisture as excessive. Approximately 80% of the province is rating sub soil moisture as good/excellent with 4% rated excessive.

Hay and pastures are off to a good start with ratings of 10% poor; 18% fair; 66% good; 6% excellent. Hay and pastures need an extended period of warm weather.

Region One: South (Strathmore, Lethbridge, Medicine Hat, Foremost)
Seeding is estimated at 39.6% complete, compared to 0.2% in 2011 and 20.2% complete over the past 5 years. Much of the seeding occurred in early to mid April. Wetter weather of late has slowed the pace of seeding but significantly improved growing conditions. 86% of the region is rated good/excellent for surface moisture with 80% rated good/excellent for sub soil moisture.

Hay and pastures are rated: 2% poor; 12% fair; 65% good; 21% excellent.

Region Two: Central (Rimbey, Airdrie, Coronation, Oyen)
Cool, wet weather across much of the region has seeding progress estimated at 2.8%, ahead of last year when virtually no seeding had occurred and slightly behind the 5 year average of 5.3%. Most of the seeding to date has occurred in the central and eastern areas of the region with very little in the west. 80% of the region is rated good/excellent for surface moisture with 75% rated similarly for sub soil moisture. Excess moisture is an issue in the north portion of the west area of the region.

35% of hay and pastures in the region are rated as poor/fair, not due to moisture limitations, but to a need for warmer temperatures.

Region Three: North East (Smoky Lake, Vermilion, Camrose, Provost)
Seeding is slowly getting underway with 0.8% seeded, slightly behind the 5 year average of 2.4%. Soil moisture conditions are good with 75% of the surface moisture and 70% of the sub soil moisture rated good/excellent.

Pasture/hay ratings are showing the effect of the dry fall and winter conditions with 40% of the region rated poor/fair. Warmer weather is needed to take advantage of the precipitation which has fallen this spring

Region Four: North West (Barrhead, Edmonton, Leduc, Drayton Valley, Athabasca)
Cool, wet weather has not provided conditions beneficial for an early start to seeding this spring. Less than 1% of the region has been seeded to date compared to the 5 year average of 2.6%. Soil moisture is very good with both surface and sub soil ratings near 90% good/excellent.

Hay and pasture ratings are being affected by the cool conditions which has delayed the start of growth. 27% are rated poor, 13% fair and 60% good.

Region Five: Peace River (Fairview, Falher, Grande Prairie, Valleyview)
Conditions this year have been cool and wet. As a result, very little seeding has occurred to date as virtually nothing has been seeded compared to the 5 year average of 2%. Excessive surface soil moisture is an issue across the region with 62% rated excessive. Over 90% of the region is rating sub soil moisture as good/excellent.

Hay/pasture conditions are rated as 100% good.

Prepared by Agriculture Financial Services Corporation, in cooperation with Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development. For more information, please contact the writer, James Wright.

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For more information about the content of this document, contact Stacey Tames.
This information published to the web on May 7, 2012.