Dry conditions play part in Canadian crop forecasts

by Eric Schroeder
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Wheat production is expected to decline in most Canadian provinces in 2017. Photo by Adobe Stock.
OTTAWA, CANADA — Canadian farmers expect production of soybeans, oats and corn for grain to increase in 2017, while wheat, barley and canola crops are forecast to decline, Statistics Canada said in its Aug. 31 Principal Field Crop Areas report for July 2017.

“Very dry conditions in southern parts of the Prairies have played a role in the production expectations reported for selected crops in the July farm survey,” Statistics Canada said.

Wheat production is expected to decline in most Canadian provinces in 2017, with total wheat production forecast at 25.5 million tonnes, down 19.5% from 2016. Harvest area is expected to remain stable at 22 million acres, Statistics Canada said.

“Farmers in Saskatchewan anticipate wheat production to decrease 29.9% from 2016 to 10.2 million tonnes,” the agency noted. “This is mainly attributable to a 28.8% decline in anticipated average yield to 33.7 bushels per acre, as harvested area should only be down 1.7% from 2016. Similarly, producers in Alberta expect an 18.3% fall in average yield to 47.4 bushels per acre, resulting in an anticipated 9.1% decrease in total wheat production to 9.0 million tonnes.

“Manitoba farmers expect a decline in wheat production to 3.6 million tonnes (-14.3%), driven by a lower anticipated harvested area of 2.7 million acres (-8.5%), and a 6.4% decrease in average yield to 49.7 bushels per acre. In Ontario, total wheat production (derived from winter wheat, mainly) is anticipated to decrease 10.6% from 2016 to 2.3 million tonnes.”

Statistics Canada said canola production in Canada also is expected to be lower, with a forecast decline of 7.1%, to 18.2 million tonnes. Harvested area is projected to rise to 22.8 million acres, but lower average yields in Alberta and Saskatchewan are factors contributing to the forecast national decline, the agency noted.

Canadian farmers expect corn for grain production to increase 3.4% to 12.6 million tonnes in 2017, Statistics Canada said. The increase is expected to take place despite a 3.3% decrease in average yield to 153.4 bushels per acre. Statistics Canada attributed the production increase to a 7% gain in harvested area to 3.5 million acres.

Soybean production in 2017 is expected to reach another record high, increasing 19.8% to 7.7 million tonnes, Statistics Canada said. The agency pointed to a projected 34.6% increase in harvested area.

Production of barley is forecast to fall 17.9% to 7.2 million tonnes in 2017, while oat production is forecast to rise 15.3% to 3.7 million tonnes, Statistics Canada said.

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