By KENDALL, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Published Oct 26, 2021

Despite this summer’s drought and extreme heat, which has resulted in a significantly lower crop yield compared to average, it is reported that the province’s overall crop quality exceeded the five-year average.

The only exception to this increase is malting barley and oats. In southern Alberta however, crops rated right on average, while yield on non-irrigated croplands were halved from previous years.

Yield average estimates, published Oct. 12 for the southern region – comprising Medicine Hat, Lethbridge, Foremost and Strathmore areas – were well below half the five-and 10-year averages. The dryland averages for major crops were: spring wheat, 17.8 bushels per acre; barley, 20.5; oats, 27.4; canola, 16.1; and dry peas, 18.9.

In the final crop report of 2021, harvesting progress was described as being ahead of the five-year average. Harvesting is practically complete in the south, central and northeast regions with the northwest and Peace regions being close complete.

Feed availability and forage reserves vary across the province, with some areas seeing shortages. In the south region, an estimated 50% of producers are short on feed and an estimated 53% on forage reserves.

Crops in southwestern Saskatchewan were reported to be of similar quality as those in Alberta, however hay quality varies.

— with files from Collin Gallant

This item is reprinted with permission from Medicine Hat News. See article HERE.

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