Alberta Agriculture's crop condition rating for the province dipped slightly in the week ending July 30 to 67.8% good to excellent for all-crops, the lowest rating reported since the June 18 report. This remains above the 62.9% reported this time last year, the five-year average of 62.5% and the 10-year average of 66.5% good to excellent.
The soil moisture map highlights extreme variation in conditions across the province, with dry conditions in the south, as well as the northern tip of the province, extremely wet conditions across the Northeast and Northwest regions and more favorable conditions over the Central region of the province.
According to the bi-weekly report, the crop condition fell in three of the five regions of the province. The crop condition fell only 3 points in the driest southern region of the province, while the largest decline was seen in the Northwest region where the condition fell 27.9 points to 55% good to excellent over the past two weeks due to excessive precipitation.
According to Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada's Percent of Average Precipitation maps, much of the Northwest and Northeast regions has experienced anywhere from 150% to even over 200% of normal precipitation in the past 30 days, ending Aug. 1. This is a stark contract to the southern areas, with the driest areas in the southeast having received less than 40% of average precipitation in the past 30 days.
The yield index report for all crops is reported to be 7.1% higher than the five-year average and 9% higher than the 10-year average. While crops point to the potential for above-average yield, this will vary from crop-to-crop and depending on where the crops are in the province.
While the government released its first dryland yield estimates, shown in blue on the attached chart, the brown bars reflect projected final yields based on the five-year average of the relationship between Alberta Agriculture's late-July estimates and Statistics Canada's final yield estimates for the province. This considers any tendencies that may take place in the estimates released, while includes the effect of the higher-yielding irrigated acres.
Of the five crops shown, the projected yield for durum at 30.8 bushels/acre (brown bar) is the only crop listed where the projection falls short of the five-year average of 41.2 bpa (grey bar). Given this analysis, the projected yields for spring wheat would exceed average by 11.6% and the projected canola yield would exceed the average yield by 15.6%.
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