Alberta snow further delays canola harvest, boosts prices

MarketsFarm — Canola futures finished up at Monday’s close, boosted by a weather premium after a low-pressure system brought considerable snowfall to parts of Alberta over the weekend.

Snow was mostly concentrated in the southern region of the province. Calgary and surrounding areas received around 30 centimetres of snow, according to preliminary results from Environment Canada.

Waterton, about 270 km south of Calgary, reported the highest level of snowfall in the province at 95 cm. Cardston County, along the U.S. border, received between 60 and 70 cm of snow, according to reports from social media.

While southern Alberta is not the province’s foremost canola-growing region, only about 50 per cent of canola in the area was harvested as of Sept. 23.

Alberta’s central region, where most of the canola is grown, received comparatively less snow. Nordegg, 175 km west of Red Deer, received 13 cm, according to social media reports. But the region did experience a hard frost which may cause significant damage to the quality of immature canola crops.

What snow was received in that region will flatten standing crops and keep swathed crops wet. Low temperatures predicted for the next week, with overnight lows below freezing, means the snow will stick around and further delay harvest. As of last week, only three per cent of canola in the region was harvested.

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

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