AAFC dials back estimated crop area due to flooding

Canada’s agriculture department has lowered its estimates of crop harvested areas, as flooding and excessive rain look to leave much land fallow this year.

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada released its grain and oilseed outlook, which is based on analysis, not a farmer survey, late on Tuesday.

Severe wetness in southern areas of the Canadian Prairies, especially southeastern Saskatchewan and southwestern Manitoba, has brought seeding to a standstill in some zones, with crop insurance deadlines falling between June 10 and 20.

Many areas will have more unseeded land than normal, the department said. 

However, fallow areas will likely be smaller than last year’s and harvests of major crops are expected to be bigger, despite recent seeding delays. 

AAFC cut its harvested area estimate for all wheat to 22.9 million acres from May’s forecast of 23.6 million acres. The harvested area would still be larger than last year, when wetness left the biggest unseeded area in decades, and will produce a 2011 crop of 25.5 million tonnes, the department said.

Canola harvested area falls to 18.1 million acres from May’s estimate of 18.9 million acres, producing a crop of 12.7 million tonnes.

AAFC’s production estimates assume normal precipitation, quality and yields.

Oat harvested area drops to three million acres from 3.1 million, producing 3.35 million tonnes. 

AAFC also reduced harvested area for barley and durum and forecast crops of 8.6 million tonnes and 4.5 million tonnes respectively.

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