Alberta harvest nearing completion

Alberta farmers made significant harvest progress in late-October, with nearly 95 percent of crops off the field as of Oct. 30, according to the final crop report of the season from Alberta Agriculture.

On a crop-by-crop basis, spring wheat was 96.1 percent harvested, durum 95.4 percent, barley 95.6 percent, peas 98.6 percent, and canola 91.7 percent.

Average wheat yields were estimated at 46.9 bushels peracre, barley at 59.7 bushels, oats 78.1, canola 39.7 and peas 40.0. Overall, average yields were about four per cent off the five-year average but two per cent above the 10-year average.

Since the end of August, crop quality deteriorated due to wet conditions. Provincially, crop quality for all crops was below the 5-year averages, with the exception of malt barley and the top two grades of durum wheat and dry peas, which were above their 5-year averages. About 66 percent of hard red spring wheat graded in the top two grades, with 18 percent graded as feed quality. About 44 percent of oats graded number 2 or better. Nearly 23 percent of barley was eligible for malt and 60 percent graded as number 1. Almost 68 percent of harvested canola was graded as number 1, with 17 percent graded as number 2. About 81 percent of durum wheat and 83 per cent of dry peas graded in the top two grades, according to the report.

As a result of cool and wet weather conditions in September and the first half of October in most parts of the province, soil moisture reserves were close to normal at the end of October. However, in some parts of the Southern and Peace Regions, there were still pockets of relatively poor moisture reserves.

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