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Alberta harvest: South done, north just starting

(Resource News International) — Harvest operations in southern Alberta were
virtually complete, but remained stalled in the central and
northern areas of the province, according to a crop specialist
with the Alberta Ag-Info Centre.

“Wet and cool temperatures in the central and northern areas
were slowing crop maturity as well as keeping producers out of
the fields,” said specialist Neil Whatley at the provincial government’s farm resource centre in Stettler.

He noted farmers have been doing a lot of swathing

instead of straight combining as conditions have not been
conducive to those types of operations.

Of the crops harvested to date, based on information
provided to Alberta Ag’s offices, Whatley said yields for canola
and wheat have generally been average.

“There have been some reports of better than average yields
for canola, but this has not been widespread,” he said.

Damage to crops in Alberta have come from frost and, to some
extent, insects, Whately said. Damage from
disease has been minimal at best, he added.

Wet and cool conditions early in the spring had been
expected to cause disease damage to crops, but the hot weather
during July and parts of August essentially eliminated that
threat, he said.

Whatley said winter wheat area in the province could be
higher than last year’s as producers take advantage of high
prices to seed the crop.

Alberta farmers who also did not seed a crop this
spring because of weather-related issues also have been
aggressively seeding winter wheat.

Whatley also rated topsoil moisture conditions across Alberta as
good.

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