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Canadian Crop Update
- Wednesday Sept 1, 2010
This analysis featured in the Sept 1, 2010 issue of the HGCA's MI Prospects, Volume 13, Issue 5
Statistics Canada's preliminary estimate of production of principal field crops, made as of conditions in late July / early August and published on 21 August, indicated that the Prairie crops may not be as poor as was generally anticipated.
The area not sown because of excessive moisture in the spring was not as great as expected but was nevertheless unprecedented. The Canadian summer fallow area, which has been declining for many years, at 4.9Mha, was double the 2009 area and almost 85% above the Seeding Intentions Survey area (Graph 1). It is the biggest area since 1999.continue
Eastern Saskatchewan and to a lesser extent western Manitoba were most seriously implicated. Farmers in this area generally grow most traditional Prairie crops. Of the total Canadian crop area it appears that canola and peas' areas have been less affected than cereals (Table 1). In areas where planting was delayed, canola and peas were the first crops to be sown as soon as weather conditions allowed drilling to proceed. Hence, canola and peas may not have been sown amid the best of conditions. Maize for grain and soyabeans are not grown in this region and their sowing was therefore not weather dependent.
Statistics Canada forecast above average yields for all major crops except canola and peas suggesting that unfavourable sowing conditions impacted on yield potential. It should be noted that this was based on farmers' crop assessment in late July / early August. The only general comment in the context of timing is that crops were otherwise assessed to be about two weeks behind normal in maturity. Weather conditions since then have been such as to enhance yield potential but not hasten maturity. So a late harvest with quality risk implications has to be considered a possibility.
On a regional basis, most crops in Alberta are better than in 2009, when many crops suffered from drought. Crop output in Saskatchewan and Manitoba has been reduced by unsown area. Eastern Canada has seen the same favourable weather conditions as the adjacent US Corn Belt and, hence, good yields are expected.
Total Canadian wheat production is forecast at 22.7Mt, down 15% from 2009 (Table 1). A decline in output was expected even before sowing was restricted by wet field conditions in the spring. The Seeding Intentions Survey suggested that reduced winter wheat and durum area would offset any increase in spring wheat. Currently winter wheat, spring wheat and durum output is forecast at 2.6M, 17.0M and 3.1Mt respectively which would be 14, 6 and 42% below last year's harvests.continue
Canola production was estimated at 10.9Mt down 8% and a second year of contraction after a decade of expansion. Flaxseed production forecast at 0.6Mt, down 39%, would be the smallest crop since 2004. Soyabean output mainly out of Eastern Canada is forecast at a record 4.0Mt, up 13% from 2009.
Barley production is forecast at 8.5Mt, down 11% and the smallest crop since the drought in 2002. Oats production is estimated at 2.4Mt, down 15% and the smallest crop since 1991. Maize for grain, grown mainly in Eastern Canada, is currently seen at 10.8Mt, up 13% from 2009 and the second largest crop on record.
David Walker (001) 780 434 7615
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