Canada's Big Crops Getting Bigger

August 22, 2013 04:26 AM
Canada's Big Crops Getting Bigger

With no frost in sight, Canadian producers are poised for bin-busting grain crops this year.

Canada is poised for record wheat, canola, barley, oat and corn crops. And with no frost in sight, chances are Canadian producers will realize bin-busting crops across the board.

Looking at canola first, Canadian producers anticipate a record 14.7 million metric tons in 2013 due to a 21.9% year-over-year increase in the anticipated average yield of 33.7 bushels per acre, according to the latest report from Statistics Canada, which is based on a survey of producers taken in late July and early August.

Producers in all three prairie provinces anticipate an increase in canola production, despite lower harvested areas.

"Canola production is slightly less than expected, but larger than last year’s 13.2 million tons," says Bruce Burnett, weather and crop specialist with the Canadian Wheat Board. "Expectations were for a canola crop above 15 million tons."

This year’s canola crop was planted late due to cool, wet conditions in the Canadian prairies. Thus, Burnett says estimates for canola production could change as the crop progresses.

Bumper Wheat Crops

Canada’s total estimated wheat production is expected to reach 30.6 million metric tons this year, a 12.9% increase from last year, due to increases in both projected harvested acres and average yield. The report shows the average yield for all wheat is expected to increase 3.3% from a year ago to 44 bushels per acre.

Saskatchewan producers anticipate a 14% increase in total wheat production to 14.5 million tons, and Alberta growers expect a record yield of 49.6 bushels per acre.

"Growing conditions have been pointing to robust yields," says Burnett. This year’s anticipated 30.6 million metric tons, if realized, would be the largest crop since 1991, he adds.

Spring wheat production is estimated at 21.8 million metric tons due to an anticipated record yield of 43.1 bushels per acre.

"This is a very positive report for wheat," says Burnett. Projected durham wheat production of more than 5.1 million metric tons is also approaching the record production of a couple of years ago.

Grains Also Over the Top

Canadian barley production is anticipated to climb 12.4% from a year-ago to 8.8 million metric tons, driven by a potential record average yield of 64.1 bushels per acre. Canadian farmers expect year-over-year production of oats to increase 11.9% to 2.9 million metric tons, again the result of a potential record yield of 79.4 bushels per acre.

Corn for grain production, while still small in Canada at just over 13 million metric tons, is expected to increase 0.9%, surpassing last year’s record output

Not Much Frost Danger

With harvest just beginning in Canada, the crops will be vulnerable to frost, particularly the late-planted canola crop, but even that is not creating much concern.

"The forecast is positive for getting the bulk of the cereal crops as well as canola into a condition that can withstand frost," says Burnett. "No widespread frost event is forecast through early September."



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