Canada Markets

Alberta's Last Crop Report -- What's Left and Where?

Cliff Jamieson
By  Cliff Jamieson , Canadian Grains Analyst
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The blue bars represent the unharvested Alberta acres for selected crops as of the Nov. 29, 2016 crop report, and the brown bars represent the unharvested acres as of the Nov. 5 2019 report, based on Statistics Canada's harvested acre estimates and measured against the primary vertical axis. The line with markers represents the 2019 acres as a percent of Canada's total estimated harvested acres. (DTN graphic by Cliff Jamieson)

The last crop report for the season as of Nov. 29 2016 pointed to the fall harvest being one of the longest on record, given a start in the first week of August while as of Nov. 29 roughly 10% of all crops were unharvested with the majority of the remaining activity to resume in the spring of 2017.

The province's 2019 series of crop reports ended as of Nov. 5 data, with 11.1% of all crops remaining according to provincial estimates, while reporting the season has ended with recent weather events with harvest to resume in spring on crops with yield potential.

Using provincial government estimates for the percent of harvest completed along with Statistics Canada harvested acre estimates for the province, this will result in delayed harvest for roughly 1 million acres of canola representing roughly 4.9% of the national crop, along with 675,000 acres of spring wheat, or roughly 3.7% of the country's harvested acre estimate. Unharvested acres for both crops exceed the area reported in 2016, as see in the attached chart.

When comparing harvest estimates for the five regions of the province, we see that both the Southern Region and Central Region are trailing the harvest pace reported in the final report of 2016, but by a slim margin (not shown). As of Nov.5, the Southern Region was 97.2% complete and the Central Region was estimated to be 92.3% complete.

The Northwest and Northeast Regions have faced challenging conditions, with a number of locations surrounding Edmonton having received 115% to 150 % of normal precipitation in the April 1 through Oct 31 period, with further snowfall accumulation since Nov.1. Despite this, the percentage of the Northeast Region harvested as of the final report is 6.1 percentage points higher than in 2016 at 87.1% complete, while the percentage of the Northwest Region as of the final report is 10.6 points higher than the final 2016 estimate at 93% complete.

The largest challenges this crop year were found in the Peace River Region, where an estimated 63.4% of the crop is off, or 21.2 percentage points behind the pace shown in the final report for 2016. In 2016, there was a 19-point spread between the percentage of the Southern Region when compared to the Peace Region, while in 2019 this has ballooned to a 33.8-point spread.


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