Alberta Agriculture's June 18 Crop Report includes the first crop condition ratings for 2019, pointing to continued dryness in the Southern Region and northern Peace Region dragging the provincial condition average to below-normal levels.
The good to excellent rating for all crops was estimated at 63.4%, down from the five-year average of 71.5% and the 10-year average of 70.8%. When comparing the three central regions of the province to their respective five-year average condition, 2019 data shows the 2019 condition estimate for the Central Region to be 3.7 points higher than average, the Northeast Region is 7.4 points lower than average and the Northwest Region is 10.9 points higher than average.
Compare this to the Southern Region where the current good to excellent rating is 21.3 points behind average with the Peace Region is 15.4 points below average as of June 18.
As of June 18, surface soil moisture ratings showed deterioration across four of the five regions over the province over the past week, with the most southern region and northern region once again facing the driest conditions. The poor- to very-poor surface soil rating has declined for four consecutive weeks in the Southern Region to 60% of the region, while the poor- to very-poor rating has deteriorated over six straight weeks to 51% of the Peace Region. Crop development is noted slow due to these conditions, with canola development the most noticeable.
The attached chart shows the provincial average good to excellent rating for select crops for June 18 2019, along with the third week of June in 2018 and the average for the same week over the past five years. In some years where durum data was limited, an average was calculated for the rating reported on the week earlier and the week later than the third week of the month.
While the selected crops all show the 2019 good to excellent rating to be below historical levels (blue bars), the durum rating is 32.5 points below this time last year and 34.1 points below the five-year average. Canola follows, down 19.3 points from last year and 9.2 points below average.
Rains have hit the province since the June 18 report, heavy rains are hitting many areas at the time of writing and the seven-day outlook is for wet conditions. Ratings should stabilize and show improvement from this point forward.
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