The most recent Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada data shows the western areas of the Central region and Southern region of Alberta still the driest areas of the province. As a percent of average precipitation, the area is split between 60% to 85% of average precipitation in the April 1 to June 23 period and 40% to 60% of average. Weekend rains did little to provide relief for this area, while Alberta Agriculture describes the area as having precipitation much below the normal precipitation received over the 1961 to 2015 period.
As seen on the attached chart, the good-to-excellent crop condition rating for all crops as of June 21 (red bars) are well above the year-ago levels (blue bars), with the province's good-to-excellent rating at 81.6%, which compares to 38.2% reported for the same period last year. The largest difference is seen in the Northwest region of the province, where crops were rated at 95.2% good to excellent on June 21 as compared to just 13.7% this time last year.
The overall rating for the province improved 2% from the previous week given moisture received in the week ending June 21 to 81.6% good to excellent, with three of five crop regions in the province seeing ratings improve, while the good to excellent rating for all crops fell 5.7% in the Central Region and 2.8% in the Southern Region.
By crop, the largest down-grades in crop condition were seen in crops in the Central Region, with the good-to-excellent ratings for spring wheat falling 6.7% in the last week to 75%, barley falling 9.7% to 73.4% and dry peas falling 12.3% to 75.8%. The canola crop seems resilient at present, with the good-to-excellent rating falling by 1.8% in the Southern Region and just 0.1% in the Central Region.
At the same time, provincial ratings show a quick turn-around in the crop condition for certain crops given favourable rains in the north. Over the past week, the canola crop condition in the Northwest Region improved from 57.1% good to excellent to 92.1%, while the Peace Region improved from 63.5% to 76.9%.
The black line with markers represents the rating given for surface soil moisture. This rating varies from 54.8% in the south to 99% in the Northwest. The provincial rating is 76.6% good to excellent, which compares to just 29.2% last year and the five-year average of 70.1%.
Seven-day National Weather Service precipitation maps show favourable rains to hit the province, with over 2 inches indicated for central areas of the province.
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