Harvest 2018 begins during heat spell

A consistent stream of peas falls into the basin of a newer John Deere combine where a
prairie grasshopper stays above the pileup on Mon. Aug. 13. A few farmers in central Alberta
have begun to harvest peas in hopes of salvaging as much as they can after facing drought
conditions and extremely high temperatures for more than two weeks. ECA Review/T.Huxley

The combines have been dusted off only to get more back on as Harvest 18’ begins in East Central Alberta. The early start was mostly due to drought-like conditions that much of the prairies have witnessed this summer.

The Alberta Crop Report explained that the Central Region, spreading from Rimbey to Airdrie to Coronation to Oyen areas, crop conditions are significantly below provincial average at 39.6 and 51.6 per cent respectively.

Poor subsurface soil moisture at the beginning of the year made the growing season tough on potentially high yielding crops. The summer precipitation the area has seen this year was not enough to support better development.

The report also outlined that the continuing heat and hail will lead to smaller yields and lesser quality grain.

A few spots within the area were hit with hail as well as the odd thunderstorm which carried small to decent amounts of rain.

Crops under drought stress have been burning up and maturing much quicker than what is normally expected with some pea crops close to reaching desiccation.

For livestock usage, there is a shortage of hay in some areas and pastures are struggling to keep with consistent grazing.

Although conditions are unfavourable, as the saying goes “There is always next year”.

 

Terri Huxley

ECA Review

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