07/22/2015 05:00 EDT | Updated 07/22/2016 05:12 EDT

Harvest early in southern Alberta where drought not as big a threat

LETHBRIDGE, Alta. - An agriculture spokesman says crops in the Lethbridge region of southern Alberta are ahead of schedule despite drought elsewhere in the province.

Agronomist Doon Pauly says the area relies on irrigation anyway, so more heat and less rain than normal have not had as much of an impact.

Pauly says farmers are on pace to begin combining this year's crops early.

He says they've already begun taking off winter wheat crops, which are also coming along earlier than normal.

Pauly says if current weather patterns hold, the general harvest could begin 10 to 14 days ahead of schedule.