National Horticulture Crop News - October 4, 2011

Pepared by
Market Analysis and Information Section
Horticulture and Cross Sector Division

British Columbia

Frost is currently the most significant climate related issue. There is concern that grapes may not fully mature before the fall frosts occur.

Warm weather over the recent past has resulted in good progress in terms of harvest. Berry, tree fruit, vegetable, and cereal harvests are near-complete. Late harvest of pears and early-winter apple varieties has resulted in some minimal damage.

The Kamloops area experienced record heat during September. The wildfire risk in the southern and central interior region, although high, has been tempered by high humidity. The risk of wildfire elsewhere is low to very low.

Alberta

Over the recent past, most crops have been swathed and harvesting has progressed well due to favourable weather. About 50 per cent of the harvest is complete and yields range from average to bumper.

Heavy frost was seen across the eastern-half of the province in mid September. Temperatures of -7°C or lower were recorded for brief periods at several stations, and temperatures of -5°C or colder persisted for several hours.

Relatively dry conditions resulted in continued depletion of soil moisture reserves across many parts of the province, and some large areas east of Highway 2 are rated as 1-in-12-year-lows. Soil moisture reserves are also very low to extremely low across much of the northern Peace Region.

For further information regarding Alberta crop news, please visit the Government of Alberta Department of Agriculture Crop Report website which is updated regularly during the crop season.

Should you have any further inquiries, you may direct them to:

Reynold Jaipaul, Branch Head for Statistics and Data Development Branch, Department of Agriculture, Government of Alberta, 780-427-5376.

Saskatchewan

Weather conditions have been great and harvest is near-complete. Above-seasonal temperatures and little precipitation put harvest well-ahead of the five-year average of 72 per cent harvested.

Currently 91 per cent of crops have been harvested while at this time last year only 29 per cent of the crop had been harvested.

Provincial topsoil moisture conditions are adequate in the eastern part of the province while the western side is short of moisture with some small pockets being very short of moisture. The western and the northeast regions of the province in particular could use some rain.

There were some minor frosts over the past two weeks but there was no significant agricultural impact.

Manitoba

Low soil moisture has been the main climate-related risk in the recent past. Little to no rain was received across the province over the recent past, except in the southeast region which received up to 40 mm. This rain was welcome as this was previously the driest region of the province.

Beans, potatoes, and corn are all at lesser percentages of harvest completion.

Lake levels throughout Manitoba remain to be up to five feet above normal (1.5 meters) for this time of year. Wind-driven wave damage is the most significant risk.

For further information regarding Manitoba crop news, please visit the Government of Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Initiatives website which is updated regularly during the crop season.

Ontario

Frost is currently the most significant climate related issue. Cold fronts moved through the province over the recent past and caused some isolated ground frost. Damage to the corn crop was not significant, though later-planted corn still requires a few days to a week to reach maturity.

Yields for sugar beets are variable but generally a good harvest is expected despite the weather this year.

For further information regarding Ontario crop news, please visit the Government of Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food, and Rural Affairs website which is updated regularly during the crop season.

Quebec

No issues to report.

For further information regarding Quebec crop news, please visit the Conseil Quebecois de l'Horticulture website which is updated regularly during the crop season (note: this website is available in French only).

Nova Scotia

No major issues to be reported, but heavy rainfall accompanied post-tropical storm Ophelia with some locations receiving up to 80mm.

For further information regarding Nova Scotia crop news, please visit both the AgraPoint Newsletters and the AgraPoint Field Crop Production websites which are updated regularly during the crop season.

Prince Edward Island

The recent past has been warm and sunny; however there was 85 mm of rain in early October as part of a low pressure system. More rain is forecast in the upcoming weeks which will slow or stop harvest.

The cranberry crop was significantly delayed by flooding earlier this year, and harvest has yet to begin.

Newfoundland and Labrador

Harvest has continued with yields at normal to below normal. The southern portion of the province experienced heavy rains and high winds in the recent past from post-tropical storm Ophelia, however there are no concerns for agriculture.

For further information regarding Newfoundland and Labrador crop news, please contact Rosalind Pound, Manager, Agricultural Services, Government of Newfoundland and Labrador, 709-637-2089.

New Brunswick

Good weather over the recent past has progressed the harvest. Potatoes are approximately 75 per cent harvested.

For further information regarding New Brunswick crop news, please visit the Government of New Brunswick Agriculture, Aquaculture and Fisheries website which is updated regularly during the crop season.

Source: Climate Related Production Risks Committee, AAFC