Spring wheat and durum yields are trending above average in Western Canada, but large pockets had no crop after heavy rain earlier this month, a crop tour observed on Wednesday.
Much of the crop that survived is also developing late in western Manitoba and eastern Saskatchewan and will need extra time to ripen before the first killing frost, which usually occurs in early September.
“The yields only tell part of the story in the region as every field has some degree of damage to cropped areas be excess water,” said Bruce Burnett, CWB weather and crop specialist, who is helping lead the tour.
Reuters is traveling from southwestern Manitoba through eastern Saskatchewan. The area normally accounts for one-third of Western Canada’s spring wheat area and 40 percent of its canola acres.
The tour observed yields on Tuesday across the Prairies that, overall, were lower than 2013’s high levels but above long term averages.
In southern Manitoba and southeastern Saskatchewan, spring wheat had an expected average harvested yield of 45 bushels per acre, 7 percent lower than last year, but higher than the long-term average for the region.
Cereal crops tended to be in better condition than oilseeds.
The best yields were reported Tuesday in northwestern Saskatchewan and northeastern Alberta, where spring wheat yields averaged 59 bushels per acre, above last year’s average yield of 55 bushels per acre and the long-term average.
In southern Alberta and southwestern Saskatchewan, moisture levels improved as the tour moved south of Lethbridge, Alberta and east into Saskatchewan. Durum yields were calculated on Tuesday at 50 bushels per acre, in line with last year and ahead of the long-term average.
On Thursday, the tour will release Western Canada yield estimates in Regina.