(Rural Roots Canada) – The 2022 growing season in Alberta was a roller coaster ride.

Dry weather, rain, pests, and disease all played a part throughout the growing season.

Jeremy Boychyn, Agronomy Extension Manager for the Alberta Wheat and Barley Commissions, says the dry start to the year raised doubts for farmers as seeding began. But eventually, the rain washed away those concerns.

“To say this was one of the most expensive crops to seed, and we talk about the million-dollar rains, this was probably the most valuable rain we’d seen in Western Canada in quite some time,” he says.

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All that moisture befitted some crops more than others.

“Wheat and barley took off with that moisture, and while some areas may have seen some excess which may have caused some challenges, that rain allowed us to have an average or slightly above average yield.”

Boychyn also notes that some of the pest issues producers dealt with in 2022 weren’t as bad as was expected.

“We saw wheat stem sawfly in the southern parts of the province around Claresholm. Wheat midge continues to pop up. It didn’t end up being as significant an issue as we thought, but it’s still very present. Producers need to be aware of that.”

The excess moisture, while necessary, raised some fears about disease. While some instances of disease were noted, they didn’t prove to be as much of a concern.

Harvest was mostly smooth for producers as warm weather persisted through August, September and October.