The Alberta government rated major crops in the province at 82% good to excellent as of June 15, ahead of the all-crop assessment of 80.6% for the same week in 2020, the five-year average of 76.9% and the 10-year average of 74.7%.
Assessments across the province are seen as high variable, with the condition rating by crop region ranging from as low as 66.4% in the Southern Region of the province (82.5%) to 95.4% for the North West Region of the province (39.9%), with the year-ago condition in brackets highlighting a reversal of fortunes.
The provincial government's surface soil moisture rating has shown deterioration during the past three weeks, reaching a high of 81.6% good to excellent for the week ending May 25, while reported at 64% for the week of June 15. This compares to the 81% reported this time last year and the five-year average of 73.7% for mid-June.
Given the dry conditions seen for the province during the week following this report, with another dry week to follow, the subsoil rating will be of increased significance. This rating has fallen from a high of 75% good-to-excellent as of June 8, while has fallen to 66% this week. This is the second lowest of the mid-June estimates during the past five years, while is only slightly behind the five-year average of 69% for this week.
The attached chart shows the government's crop condition estimate for various crops for the middle of June. All crops are viewed as favourable to their respective five-year average condition, led by crops such as oats and canola at 8.2 points and 8.1 points higher than average, respectively.
This week's crop condition varies when compared to 2020, with spring wheat, oats, canola, and peas rated higher than the same week in 2020, while durum, barley and flax are behind year-ago levels.
Looking at government data for the past five years, only on one year did we see the overall provincial averages for surface soil moisture and sub-soil moisture below the estimates released for the latest week. This was seen in 2019, when the surface soil estimate was 50% and the sub-soil moisture estimate was 44%. Both estimates showed improvement for the three to four weeks that followed.
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Cliff Jamieson can be reached at email@example.com
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