Rains Boost Canadian Yield Prospects

OTTAWA - Sep 12/19 - SNS -- Canadian field crop production will likely be higher than initially thought because of the impact of rains while crops were developing, according to Statistics Canada's model based production estimates.

However, dry conditions since the beginning of the crop growing season have persisted in most of Manitoba and southern Alberta. Moisture conditions were better in the other regions of the Prairies, improving yield and production estimates.

A cool wet spring in Eastern Canada delayed corn and soybean planting. Average to above average rain through part of the crop growing season, coupled with average to below average temperatures, have limited yield and production.

Model-based principal field crop estimates are calculated according to an approach developed by Statistics Canada in close partnership with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. These yield estimates are based on a model that incorporates coarse resolution satellite data from Statistics Canada's Crop Condition Assessment Program, data from Statistics Canada's field crop reporting series, and agroclimatic data.

Starting in 2019, an extended yield model based on parcel level crop insurance data received from Manitoba Agriculture Services Corporation was used for Manitoba.

Production estimates for Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta are calculated using the model-based yields as of August 31, multiplied by the reported harvested area from the July Farm Survey of the field crop reporting series. Estimates for Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and British Columbia are carried forward from the July estimates of production of principal field crops.

Grain Output Rising

According to estimates, national production is expected to increase in 2019 for spring wheat, corn for grain, barley, dry field peas, oats, dry beans, lentils, flaxseed, and fall rye compared with 2018. By contrast, production is expected to decrease for canola, soybeans, durum wheat, winter wheat, chick peas, mustard seed, canary seed, and sunflowers.

Using a model-based methodology, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada and Statistics Canada estimate that total wheat production in Canada will increase 0.9% compared with 2018 to 32.5 million metric tons (MT) in 2019. A 1.9% increase in total wheat yield to 49.4 bushels per acre in 2019 is expected to offset a 1.1% decrease in harvested area.

According to estimates, spring wheat production is expected to increase 7.6% from 2018 to 25.8 million MT. Although the spring wheat yield is expected to decrease 0.4% to 51.2 bushels per acre, a 7.9% increase in harvested area is expected to offset the decline in yield.

Durum wheat production for 2019 is expected to be 5.0 million MT, down 13.0% from 2018.

Winter wheat production for 2019 is expected to decline 30.7% compared with 2018 to 1.7 million MT, as a result of a 25.1% decrease in harvested area and a 7.4% decline in yield to 69.6 bushels per acre. Cooler temperatures in mid-to-late summer were a concern, but warmer temperatures during the critical growing period from mid-July to mid-August likely reversed some of the downward pressure on yields.

At the national level, corn for grain production is expected to rise 1.6% from 2018 to 14.1 million MT in 2019. An estimated 2.3% increase in harvested area in 2019 could offset a 0.6% decline in yield to 153.6 bushels per acre.

A cool wet spring delayed planting in Eastern Canada, where 87% of Canada's corn is grown. This region experienced a mean temperature difference from normal of 0 to -2 degrees Celsius during the growing period, which put downward pressure on yields.

Lower Area Offsets Higher Canola Yields

According to estimates, canola production is expected to decline 4.8% from 2018 to 19.4 million MT in 2019. Although canola yield is expected to increase 3.8% to 41.3 bushels per acre, an 8.3% decline in harvested area could bring national production down 4.8% in 2019.

Dry weather across the Prairies was a concern earlier this summer. However, much needed rain, along with average to slightly below average temperatures, increased the canola yield estimates from earlier forecasts.

Soybean yield is expected to decline 1.2% to 42.0 bushels per acre at the national level in 2019 compared with 2018. The lower yield, combined with a 9.7% decline in harvested area to 5.7 million harvested acres, is expected to result in a 10.8% annual production decline to 6.5 million MT in 2019.

Ontario is expected to produce 3.9 million MT of soybeans, or 60.1% of the national production, in 2019. Manitoba is second at 1.3 million MT, or 20.7% of total soybean production, while Quebec ranks third at 1.1 million MT, or 16.2%.