Glacier FarmMedia COVID-19 & the Farm

Alta. harvest underway, good yields reported

Harvest is underway throughout Alberta with some regions already reporting good yields, according to a crop specialist with the provincial Ag-Info Centre.

“We don’t have reports from the Peace River, northwest and northeast regions, but in the south, we’ve had some pretty good reports of yields,” Neil Whatley said.

“Field peas are a bit higher than average, durum in the south is a bit higher than average, and wheat is average to a bit higher (similar to the central region). Canola is just a bit higher than average, although not much is done.”

Whatley said harvest progress is on par with previous years, after late-August heat helped the late-seeded crops finish developing.

“I would say the south is probably 75 to 85 per cent finished,” he said. “In the northeast, all canola is swathed and peas are finished. Northwest of Edmonton, I would say 80 per cent of field peas are combined, 90 to 95 per cent of canola swathed, and 15 per cent of wheat combined. In the Peace River region, all field peas are combined, all canola swathed and probably 15 per cent combined, and close to 50 per cent of wheat combined.”

Diseases have been a problem in Alberta’s north again this year, Whatley said, noting blackleg has been hurting crops for a second straight year.

“In the northwest, it looks like blackleg and clubroot might be a bit higher again this year,” he said. “The reason for that is we’ve had higher than average rainfall again, and those are diseases that we’re having trouble controlling other than through good rotations.

“Up in the Peace River region, it looks like some of the wheat has ergot and some wheat midge damage.”

There have been some slight isolated frost conditions, he added, but nothing severe.

— Brandon Logan writes for Commodity News Service Canada, a Winnipeg company specializing in grain and commodity market reporting.

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