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Crop Condition Assessment Program, April 6 to May 24, 2020

Released: 2020-06-17

As of May 24, 2020, according to the Crop Condition Assessment Program, crop and pasture conditions in British Columbia, southern Alberta and southwestern Saskatchewan were close to the average (as observed from 2000 to 2019) while the growing conditions in the other agricultural regions of Canada were lower to much lower than average because of decreased precipitation and lower temperatures.

Seeding was about 80% complete in both Alberta and Saskatchewan, which is normal as of May 24, while Manitoba lagged 16% behind the three-year average, at 65% complete. Cooler than normal temperatures in Central and Atlantic Canada have delayed the planting progress of some crops.

Crop development varies across the Prairies compared with normal

As of May 24, crop development 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. 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.

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada reported that, in the past two months, most of Manitoba, Saskatchewan and northeastern Alberta received 40% to 85% of average precipitation. 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.

Map 1  Thumbnail for map 1: Vegetation growth index as of May 24, 2020, compared with the average (as observed from 2000 to 2019), by census division, Prairie provinces
Vegetation growth index as of May 24, 2020, compared with the average (as observed from 2000 to 2019), by census division, Prairie provinces

Crop conditions in Central and Atlantic Canada are lower than normal

With the exception of Windsor and Chatham–Kent in southern Ontario, most regions in Central and Atlantic 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, Quebec and Prince Edward Island, but the rest of the Atlantic provinces saw normal rainfall, while average temperatures across Central and Atlantic Canada were one to three degrees below normal. Soil moisture conditions in Central and Atlantic 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.

Map 2  Thumbnail for map 2: Vegetation growth index as of May 24, 2020, compared with the average (as observed from 2000 to 2019), by census division, Central and Atlantic Canada
Vegetation growth index as of May 24, 2020, compared with the average (as observed from 2000 to 2019), by census division, Central and Atlantic Canada

Average crop development in British Columbia

In contrast with the rest of the country, British Columbia had warmer than normal temperatures at the beginning of the growing season, by about one to five degrees. At the same time, precipitation over the previous two months varied greatly across the province, with the highest soil moisture near and south of Kamloops. Despite the warmer weather, growing conditions were close to normal for most of the province. As with the Prairies, increased precipitation is required for the next few weeks for normal crop development.

  Note to readers

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada has partnered with Statistics Canada to provide the Crop Condition Assessment Program (CCAP) application. The Canada Centre for Mapping and Earth Observation, part of Natural Resources Canada, has also contributed by providing software for processing the input satellite data.

Historical values (1987 to 2020) for the vegetation index are available in tabular format. These values are derived from the one-kilometre resolution satellite picture elements within each census agriculture region, census division or census consolidated subdivision of Canada that contains pasture and/or cropping. The inter-annual weekly reference period is from mid-April to mid-October.

The CCAP is a free web mapping application that provides timely, objective crop and pasture monitoring information on a weekly basis for Canada's entire agricultural region, as well as for the northern part of the United States.

The application combines state-of-the-art satellite remote sensing with geographic information systems and dynamic web mapping technologies. It is the longest running program of its kind in Canadian history.

Products

The publication Crop Condition Assessment Program, 2020 (Catalogue number22-205-X) is available.

Weekly satellite images from the start of the 2020 growing season have been processed and are now available on the Crop Condition Assessment Program website.

Contact information

For more information, or to enquire about the concepts, methods or data quality of this release, contact us (toll-free 1-800-263-1136; 514-283-8300; STATCAN.infostats-infostats.STATCAN@canada.ca) or Media Relations (613-951-4636; STATCAN.mediahotline-ligneinfomedias.STATCAN@canada.ca).

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