Ag Weather Forum
Doug Webster DTN Senior Ag Meteorologist

Thursday 09/13/12

Weather Accelerates Prairies Harvest

Fine harvest weather has been observed across much of the Canadian Prairies crop region so far during September leading to a harvest that is ahead of schedule for most. There have been a few episodes of rain and showers across portions of central Alberta to central Saskatchewan where brief slowdowns have been reported. It appears that Alberta has seen precipitation slow the harvest by the greatest amount but harvest continues to make good progress.

Manitoba has seen harvest progress at a rapid pace during the late summer/early fall period with farmers reporting spring grain harvest nearly complete. Canola harvest is also closing in on completion across Manitoba where yields are being reported in the average to below average category. Soil moisture levels continue to decline across Manitoba with rainfall quite lacking since the middle of August. More rainfall will be needed to help bolster soil moisture during the coming weeks with winter wheat planting either well underway or even complete in some areas. Frost was reported in some areas during the past weekend but no crop damage was reported.

A similar story across Saskatchewan where drier weather during the past few weeks has lead to drying top soils and the need of rainfall during the next few weeks. The dry, warm weather has allowed harvest to speed along and is ahead of schedule. While crop yields are down from initial estimates, above average yields are still anticipated along with good quality. Harvest progress across Saskatchewan and Alberta has been a little slower than across Manitoba but is still ahead of schedule. A couple of windy days during the past 10 days have blown around swathed canola and shelled some standing crops.

The outlook for the next week to 10 days will continue to show very favorable harvest weather. Generally dry weather will continue with the only potential problem coming from a couple of days of windy weather that could blow around some of the swathed crops. Showers look to be few and far between through the middle of next week which is good news for harvest and not so good news for the lowering soil moisture conditions for fall planting across the region. Temperatures are expected to be variable in nature with a couple of decent shots of colder weather pushing southeastward across the region during the next week producing widespread frost and freeze conditions by next week. This should have little or no impact on crops since most crops have either been harvested or are mature and in the process of being harvested.

Posted at 10:16AM CDT 09/13/12 by Doug Webster
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