Alberta harvest well behind normal: report

Winnipeg – Cold and wet conditions, including heavy snow, halted harvest operations across much of Alberta during the week ended Oct. 2, with only 40 percent of crops now off the field, according to the latest report from Alberta Agriculture.

While progress was up slightly from the previous week, it was running well behind the five year average of 80 percent done for this time of year.

The cold weather is forecast to persist into next week, but weather permitting, farmers who have access to grain dryers are likely to be combining, with priority given to higher valued crops, according to the report.

Harvest was behind in all regions of the province, with the Peace River area the farthest off the average. On a crop-by-crop basis, canola was only 20 percent harvested, with 53 percent lying in swath. Spring wheat was 42 per cent harvested, durum 66 percent, barley 46 percent, flax 38 percent, oats 19 percent, and peas 87 percent.

Dryland yield estimates remained similar to the previous estimates reported on Sept. 18, with spring wheat averaging 46.1 bushels per acre and canola 39.2 bu/ac.

The wet conditions have caused quality downgrades, with further declines expected, according to the report.

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