Many areas of Alberta did receive precipitation during the past week while spring seeding remains at a pace ahead of both 2020 and the five-year average. This week's provincial government report estimates 31.5% of the major crops have been seeded, which compares to 20.7% complete in the same week of 2020 and the five-year average of 25.9%.
When the percentage complete data from the May 4 report for all crops is compared to the percentage complete data for the May 11 report for major crops is compared, the area covered increased by 9.9 percentage points in southern Alberta and 19.6 points in the Central Region. Progress across the Northeast Region, the Northwest Region and the Peace Region advanced by 16.3 to 16.6 points, while all regions are ahead of their respective average pace.
Of the five crops reported this week, 42.4% of the spring wheat is seeded (31.5%), 32% of the barley (25.4%), 13% of the oats (8.6%), 62.3% of the peas (48.7%) and 13.7% of the canola (16.1%), with the five-year average in brackets. As seen, the pace of canola planting is behind average. We have already seen comments made in both the Saskatchewan and Manitoba reports this week that canola planting may have been delayed in some areas while waiting for temperatures to increase, as well as waiting for precipitation.
Much of Alberta did receive precipitation during the past week, ranging as high as 1 inch in many areas. Areas missing out were the eastern side of the Central Region and the eastern half of the Northeast Region, while rains were also spotty in the Peace Region.
As a result, the province's soil moisture rating showed overall improvement during the week, with surface soil moisture rated 53.8% good-to-excellent last week and improving to 59.3% as of May 11. This ranges from 40.1% good-to-excellent in the Northeast Region to 79% in the Peace Region. The province describes surface soil moisture as satisfactory in the Central and Southern Regions, decent in the Northeast Region, in great shape in the Northwest Region and reasonable in the Peace.
Crop reports for the other two prairie provinces released this week signal ongoing dry conditions for Manitoba, while the Saskatchewan government's Crop Report pegged the area of the province with topsoil moisture rated as adequate estimated at 31%. In addition, DTN's seven-day precipitation map shows the best hopes for rainfall across the Prairies is seen for Alberta, although accumulations may be limited in southern areas of the province as well as the dry northeast areas of the province.
Cliff Jamieson can be reached at email@example.com
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