A late spring didn't hamper Canada's crop yields this year.
Despite a late spring, which is pushing crop maturation to the brink of frost season, Canadian producers are harvesting much larger crops than last year. Ideal growing conditions this summer led to higher-than-normal yields for most crops, according to September’s Production of Principal Field Crops, released Oct. 4 by Statistics Canada.
"Western Canada has the best wheat crop in the world," says John Duvenaud publisher of the Wild Oats Grain Market Advisory, Winnipeg, Manitoba. "Canada’s crop started out behind the eight-ball. In June and July we had great rains, and soil conditions were perfect. It was a fabulous growing year."
Canada’s wheat crop is expected to be record large as producers harvest 33 million metric tons, 22% more wheat than last year. The increase in production is the result of a record-high average yield of 48 bu. per acre, up from 42.6 bu. last year. Harvested area for wheat is expected to rise 8.1% to 25.3 million acres. All surveyed provinces, except for Quebec, reported an increase in average wheat yield.
The quality of this year’s crops in Canada is excellent. Soybeans are the only crop with mediocre quality, and protein is a bit low in some wheat varieties.
Lower-protein wheat from Canada will have to compete with wheat from around the world, but the hard red high-protein wheat will move quickly, says Duvenaud. "About three-fourths of Canada’s wheat will grade one or two," he adds.
Record Yields in Canola, Barley, Oats
This year’s canola crop is substantially larger than 2012’s despite lower harvested acreage. Canadian producers anticipate a 15.9% increase in canola production to 16 million metric tons. The large bump in production is the direct result of a 31.3% rise in yield to 36.9 bu. per acre.
"Yields are beyond people’s experience," says Duvenaud. He was anticipating a crop near 17 million tons, and the average trade estimate was about 16.5 million. He expects Statistics Canada to increase canola production in December.
"If there’s a bullish story, it will be on the canola side. Canola futures prices have fallen $50 per ton since harvest started," says Duvenaud. "The worst of the harvest pressure on canola is probably over."
Saskatchewan producers anticipate a record-large canola crop of 8.1 million metric tons, up 24.2% from a year ago. The average anticipated canola yield in Saskatchewan of 35.2 bu. is 40% larger than last year’s 25.1 bu. per acre.
Record-high yields are expected for barley and oats as well. Barley production is expected to increase 18.1% to 9.2 million metric tons, compared with last year, as the average yield hits 68.2 bu. per acre.
Oat production is expected to rise 16% to 3.2 million metric tons as the average yield soars to 82.6 bu. per acre. Harvested acres for oats are also expected to be 2% larger than last year at 2.5 million acres.
Corn and Beans: The Exceptions
Unlike the other crops, this year’s corn and soybean production in Canada will likely come in below year-ago levels. Soybean production in Canada is expected to slip 3.9% below last year’s production to 4.8 million metric tons. The decline is partly due to average yield declines of 10.4% in Ontario to 43.3 bu. per acre and a 4% decline in Ontario to 43 bu. per acre.
Corn production is expected to drop slightly to 12.9 million metric tons.