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Canada - Better weather helps harvest

20.08.2010 11:39 "Agro Perspectiva" (Kyiv) A return of warmer and drier weather conditions has helped in the development of grain and oilseed crops across much of Alberta, according to a provincial crop specialist. «Crop development across most regions is anywhere from 10 days to two weeks behind, but the condition of the crop is looking good to excellent,» Neil Whatley, a crop specialist with Alberta’s Ag-Info Centre at Stettler, said Tuesday. The outcome of this year’s crop is looking to be much different than had been anticipated early in the growing season when excessively wet conditions and cold readings dominated across much of the province. The harvest of both cereal and canola crops in the Peace River region of northern Alberta was well underway, with the drier conditions there behind that activity. Some swathing of crops in central and southern regions has also begun, but harvest operations in those regions continue to be delayed by the lack of crop maturity, Whatley said. There continues to be concern about harvesting the crop ahead of a severe frost, but the exposure of the crop to frost is slowing being reduced amid the good growing conditions, he indicated. The winter wheat and fall rye harvest is also underway in regions across the province, Whatley added. Pasture conditions have also seen a significant improvement, he said. As for the hay harvest, it really depends on the region, he said. «In some of the more northerly area, the first cut hay is as much as 70 per cent complete, with top quality hay being reported,» he said. «However, as you move southward across the province, wet conditions have made for some very poor quality hay.» Insect damage to crops was also evident although disease issues have not been a major problem yet, Whatley said.

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