Overall Decline in Field Crop Output

OTTAWA - Aug 28/19 - SNS -- Total pulse and special crop production in Canada is up over last year, according to yield estimates provided to Statistics Canada by about 13,110 farmers between July 4 to August 5. But, production of all field crops is expected to drop from 125.2 to 123 million metric tons (MT).

They expect this year's wheat, canola, corn for grain and soybeans to be down from last year, while barley and oats will increase.

Statistics Canada noted that even though western Canada was dry early in the growing season, timely rain beginning in late June and early July helped to increase crop health throughout parts of Saskatchewan and southern Manitoba.

"A comparison of precipitation from earlier in the growing season to mid-July, during collection of the July field crop survey, shows that moisture conditions have improved noticeably," Statistics Canada said.

"Results of the Crop Condition Assessment Program show that overall plant growth improved in many parts of Western Canada throughout July as survey collection progressed. Cool and wet spring weather in Eastern Canada resulted in poor planting conditions and contributed to slow crop development early in the season. During the collection period, the situation improved in southern Ontario and eastern Quebec."

Declines in winter wheat and durum production were partly offset by increases in spring wheat seeded area and production.

In Saskatchewan, producers expect wheat production to decline 3.9% year over year to 14.1 million MT, driven by lower anticipated yields, down 3.3% to 40.9 bushels per acre. Farmers expect the harvested area to edge down 0.6% to 12.7 million acres.

Wheat farmers in Alberta anticipate that yields will increase 2.4% to 50.9 bushels per acre in 2019. Despite a 1.8% drop in harvested area, total wheat production is expected to rise 0.5% to 10.1 million MT.

Wheat production in Manitoba is estimated to rise 5.5% to 5.1 million MT in 2019, the result of a larger harvested area, up 7.8% to 3.1 million acres. Yields are estimated to be stable at 59.6 bushels per acre.

Ontario farmers expect wheat production (most of which is winter wheat) to fall by 29.4% to 1.6 million MT. This is the result of lower harvested acres (-24.8%) and yields (-6.2%). The anticipated decrease in harvested area is attributable to harsh winter and spring weather conditions.

Lower Oilseed Output

Nationally, farmers anticipate producing 18.5 million MT of canola in 2019, down 9.3% from 2018, driven largely by an 8.3% decrease in harvested area to 20.7 million acres. Lower harvested areas may be attributable to a decline in seeded area following the ongoing trade issues surrounding the limited access to Chinese export markets. Despite a dry start to the year, increased moisture beginning in late June helped crop development, resulting in farmers reporting an expected average yield of 39.4 bushels per acre, down 1.0% from the previous year.

In Saskatchewan, farmers expect to produce less canola compared with the previous year, down 12.4% to 9.6 million MT. This decrease is attributable to a 7.1% decline in harvested area from the previous year. Yields are anticipated to decrease 5.6% to 37.1 bushels per acre.

Farmers in Alberta expect canola yields to increase 3.4% to 40.1 bushels per acre in 2019. Despite higher anticipated yields, a 12.6% decrease in harvested area contributed to an anticipated 9.4% decrease in production to 5.3 million MT.

Yields in Manitoba are estimated at 45.8 bushels per acre in 2019. Despite an anticipated decline of 2.5% in harvested area, production is expected to increase to 3.4 million MT (+3.1%).

Farmers anticipate that soybean yields will fall 5.4% to 40.2 bushels per acre in 2019. Harvested area is expected to decline 9.7% to 5.7 million acres, resulting in a 14.6% production decline to 6.2 million MT.

Soybean farmers in Ontario expect production to decrease 12.5% to 3.7 million MT in 2019. Harvested area is expected to rise 3.0% to 3.1 million acres, while yield is anticipated to decline 15.2% to 43.6 bushels per acre.

In Manitoba, soybean production is estimated to decline 18.7% to 1.3 million MT in 2019, mainly as a result of a 22.3% decrease in harvested area. Yields are estimated at 32.5 bushels per acre in 2019. Lower harvested areas are attributable to farmers in the province choosing to reduce seeded area after several years of lower yields due to dry conditions.

In Quebec, farmers expect soybean yields to decline 8.1% to 43.1 bushels per acre in 2019. Harvested area is expected to decrease 1.4% to 900,100 acres. As a result, production is anticipated to fall 9.3% to 1.1 million MT in 2019.

Less Corn, More Barley and Oats

Nationally, farmers expect to produce less corn for grain compared with the previous year, down 2.0% to 13.6 million MT in 2019. Despite increased harvested area, up 2.3% to 3.6 million acres, yields are expected to decrease 4.1% to 148.2 bushels per acre. Both area and yields were likely affected by highly variable weather throughout the year. Poor planting conditions throughout Eastern Canada due to cold and wet conditions caused some farmers to delay planting. Ontario and Quebec received considerable heat combined with little rain throughout July, and this may have further affected the corn for grain crop.

Farmers in Ontario, the largest corn for grain producing province, expect yields to fall 6.0% from the previous year to 156.1 bushels per acre in 2019. Harvested area is expected to increase 4.6% compared with the previous year. As a result, overall production in Ontario is anticipated to fall 1.6% to 8.6 million MT.

In Quebec, corn for grain farmers are expecting production to fall 8.6% to 3.3 million MT in 2019, due to lower anticipated harvested area (-2.0%, to 928,700 acres). Yields are expected to decrease 6.8% to 140.2 bushels per acre.

Nationally, farmers expect to produce 15.1% more barley than a year earlier, with production totalling 9.6 million MT in 2019. The increase is driven by higher harvested area (+12.8%, to 6.7 million acres). Yields are expected to increase 2.2% to 66.4 bushels per acre. Both Saskatchewan and Alberta, the two largest barley producing provinces, reported an increase in harvested area and production.

Oat production is anticipated to increase 15.0% to 4.0 million MT, a result of greater harvested area (+15.2%, to 2.9 million acres). Yields are expected to be stable at 89.6 bushels per acre.