StatsCan acreage update won’t show weather shift

(Resource News International) — Statistics Canada’s June 23 acreage update will not show the full impact of weather and industry participants are already second-guessing the numbers.

“The second-guessing will be because of the lateness of the development of the various crops, the impact of frost and the timing of the survey,” said Ken Ball, a broker with Union Securities Ltd. in Winnipeg.

There was a lot of reseeding ongoing due to frost damage when the survey was likely taken and in fact there were producers still trying to plant the original crop that had been intended, but delayed due to excessive dryness or moisture, depending on the region of the Prairies.

“There was probably a fair amount of acreage shifting occurring as a result, but the question of how much is what the industry is now looking for,” he said.

Jerry Klassen, an independent trader and grain analyst felt the acreage report from StatsCan will provide a bit more of an idea of what was actually seeded this spring, but the industry is also anticipating some potentially large changes from this report due to the weather.

“Frost certainly played a role on canola crops right across Western Canada and it will be interesting to see how those producers responded,” he said. “How much canola did those producers rip out?”

Klassen said he knows of an instance where a producer had planted 5,000 acres to canola and because of the frost, ploughed it all under and seeded barley instead.

“This kind of reaction by the producers is not going to be reflected in the acreage survey update,” Klassen said.

Ball said the anticipation of market participants was that the canola acreage base would have climbed from the seeding intentions report StatsCan released in April.

“The numbers in the June 23 report may show that increase but because of the weather, that number could actually be down,” he said.

Pre-report estimates for area planted to canola ranged from 15 million acres to as much as 16.1 million.

Barley seedings were seen ranging from 8.8 million to 10 million acres while oats area was forecast at 3.5 million to 4.3 million. All wheat area in Canada was seen at 23.5 million to 25.2 million acres.

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