Alberta Agriculture's Crop Report as of July 16, the first report released since July 2, points to cool temperatures slowing plant development over the past month. AAFC's Mean Temperature Difference From Normal chart shows most of Alberta and Saskatchewan ranging from 0 to 2 C below normal over the June 18 through July 15 period. One year ago, the June chart shows the mean temperature 0 to 2 C above normal and most of Alberta showed the same in the month of July.
This is combined with the continued dry conditions affecting some areas of the province, with the sub-surface moisture rating at 66% good to excellent across the province, which is better than the July 2 rating of 61.3%, above the five-year average of 56.7% and the 10-year average of 64.6%.
Modest declines in the sub-surface soil moisture ratings reported for both the Southern Region and the Peace Region, reported at 32.7% good to excellent and 66.2% good to excellent, respectively.
The attached chart shows the good-to-excellent ratings for selected crops improving in late June, except for durum, while flat-lining in the first half of July. The most recent data shows the good-to-excellent rating for all crops at 70.1%, up .2 percentage points from July 2, above the five-year average of 65.8% and the 10-year average of 68.3%.
Of the selected crops, ratings improved over the past two weeks for spring wheat, durum, barley and oats, while were tweaked lower for both canola and peas. Spring wheat is showing the highest rating of all crops, reported at 75%, the highest for this date in three years, close to the 72.3% reported this time last year and well-above the five-year average for this week of 66.5%.
The canola crop is rated at 70.4% good to excellent, down one percentage point from early July and only modestly lower than the 71.6% reported this time last year. The five-year average for this week is 63.6%.
The brown line near the bottom of the chart represents Alberta's durum rating, which shows a modest improvement over the past two weeks of .7 percentage points but remains low at 37.8% good to excellent. This is the lowest reported rating for this period in five years.
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