Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada reported that crop development varies across the Canadian Prairies compared with normal as of May 24, was close to normal for southern Alberta and most of southwestern and west-central Saskatchewan, while it was lower to much lower than normal for the rest of the region (major oat areas).


Spring seeding was slightly ahead of the average in Alberta and Saskatchewan but lagging in Manitoba because of cooler spring temperatures. Higher temperatures enabled Manitoba producers to get back in the field and make up for the delays. Veg Index ratings in eastern Manitoba oat regions are however much lower than average.


Dryness in eastern prairie oat regions over the past month has likely lowered ratings since the observation period (see map pg. 2).  It’s also unlikely oat yields will come in above normal in the dry areas. Average might even be a challenge. Having said that, oats are a hardy crop and we have seen some astounding recoveries in prior crop years.    


In the past two months, most of Manitoba, Saskatchewan and northeastern Alberta received 40% to 85% of average precipitation (see map below).


Despite this, average soil moisture was normal for most of the Prairies, with the exception of northeastern Saskatchewan and the Lloydminster region, where it was 40% to 85% of the normal.


Crop conditions in Central Canada oat regions are lower than normal


With the exception of Windsor and Chatham–Kent in southern Ontario, most regions in Central Canada were experiencing lower-than-average growing conditions attributable to decreased precipitation and lower temperatures.


For example, spring weather conditions ranged from 60% to 85% of average precipitation for Ontario and Quebec oat areas, while average temperatures across the region were one to three degrees below normal. Soil moisture conditions in Central Canada varied by 15% around the average, with the exception of the region between Montréal and Québec, where the soil moisture was 15% to 40% below normal.