StatsCan production report may show stronger yields

(Dave Bedard photo)

MarketsFarm — A challenging growing season across the Prairies has left questions in the market ahead of Statistics Canada’s production report, due out Wednesday.

“It’s hard to get a handle on canola this year because, at this stage, the farmers are going to be a bit conservative and err on the side of caution,” said Jerry Klassen, manager of Canadian operations with GAP S.A. Grains and Products in Winnipeg.

“They might report a bit below their actual yield.”

That’s due in part to the myriad of inclement growing conditions that have left canola crops stagey across the Prairies.

“In Saskatchewan in July, there were a lot of canola fields with bare spots,” he said. “There was a lot of canola just coming out of the ground.”

Klassen said it’s “hard to guess” where yields are at. “There are two types of crops out there.”

Regardless, experts anticipate canola production to be “pretty good,” between approximately 18 million and 20.5 million tonnes. Production for 2018 was just over 20 million tonnes.

Klassen also said wheat yields are “quite variable,” but likely fared better than canola early in the growing season.

Wheat, he noted, “was seeded deeper and there was more uniform germination, so the crop was able to sustain itself on subsoil moisture until we got rain in early July.”

Experts peg all wheat production to be between 32 million and 34.1 million tonnes, up from the 2018 production of 29.86 million tonnes.

Neil Townsend, chief analyst of Farmlink Marketing Solutions in Winnipeg, said late-season increases in yield potential can be chalked up to “generally co-operative” weather conditions.

“Southern Alberta is the one region where yields have not tracked upwards,” he said.

Based on early harvest performance, Klassen expected Manitoba’s crops to fare well, Alberta’s crops to produce “good to average-type yields,” and varied production from drier regions in parts of Saskatchewan.

— Marlo Glass writes for MarketsFarm, a Glacier FarmMedia division specializing in grain and commodity market analysis and reporting.

Table: Pre-report estimates, in millions of tonnes, ahead of Statistics Canada’s Aug. 28, 2019 production of principal field crops report.

estimates.                 . 2018-19
Durum wheat.   . 4.530 – 5.336 5.744
All wheat 32.000 – 34.108 29.860
Oats 3.400 – 3.355 3.436
Barley 8.800 – 10.071 8.379
Flaxseed 0.500 – 0.570 0.492
Canola 18.025 – 20.500 20.342
Peas 3.600 – 4.528 3.580
Lentils 1.872 – 2.300 2.092

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