Brazeau County crops faring well after good summer conditions

By Laine Mitchell (Twitter: @Laine_Mitchell)
August 24, 2017 - 6:43am

As many farmers in the province deal with extremely dry or wet conditions, crop growers in the Brazeau County area are counting their lucky stars having received good summer weather. 

The region that encompasses the Brazeau County area is seeing crops progressing well with good growing conditions. However, crop conditions are rated at 57% good to excellent, a decrease from the five year average of 68%.

Neil Whatley, a Crop Specialist with Alberta Agriculture and Forestry says Brazeau County is faring better than many areas in the province, having received a good amount of rainfall. 

It’s a welcome sign compared to last season, with heavy rain in the tail end of summer forcing farmers to leave crops out on the field. Whatley says the area was one that had trouble getting the crop in the spring due to excess moisture last fall, with seeding being late this year. 

A large hail event in July in the county did do some damage to crops, with some isolated hail cores dropping baseball sized hail stones into farmer’s fields. 

Pests haven’t been too big of an issue until a few weeks ago, with a diamond back moth problem surfacing recently. The moths like to settle on canola, and come up from the United States. Whatley says the moth larvae usually mines into the leaves of canola, or start to mine into the pods and eat the seeds of the plant. 

Whatley adds that the recent heat has been speeding crops along, with barley and field peas getting harvested now. The cereals are on their way too, with most in the dough development stage. If the conditions stay fairly warm and dry now, a good harvest is expected. Due to the delay in seeding in the early spring from heavy rainfall, expect to see farmer harvesting wheat and canola next month. 


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