Glacier FarmMedia COVID-19 & the Farm

Smaller crops anticipated in looming StatsCan report

Survey-based data due out Monday

government of canada
(Dave Bedard photo)

MarketsFarm — Heat and drought across Western Canada during the summer of 2021 seriously cut into the country’s crop production, raising traders’ expectations for reduced yields across the board when Statistics Canada on Monday releases its first production estimates of the year.

Canola production is estimated at 11.5 million to 16 million tonnes, which would be well below the 18.7 million tonnes grown in 2020 and the five-year average of roughly 20 million tonnes.

“Estimating the yield in a year like this is tough,” Ken Ball of PI Financial said, noting anecdotal reports were wide-ranging. “There are some pockets of good canola, but the bad canola is definitely bad.”

However, he added, wheat yields were beating expectations in many cases as the harvest progresses.

“The initial view of the crops is fairly poor,” Winnipeg-based analyst Jerry Klassen said, adding that “we’re in the early harvest stages and farmers tend to underestimate their yields on this first survey.”

However, he cautioned, while grains could be revised higher in subsequent reports, the same might not be true for canola this year.

Pre-report estimates peg all-wheat production in the country at anywhere from 18.9 million to 25.4 million tonnes, with most guesses coming in at the lower end of that range. That would be well off the 35.2 million tonnes grown the previous year.

Of that total, durum is forecast at 3.3 million to 5.4 million tonnes, down from 6.6 million grown the previous year.

Barley production is forecast at 6.5 million to 10.1 million tonnes, which compares with 10.7 million tonnes in 2020.

For the pulse crops, peas and lentils are both forecast to be down on the year, with peas pegged at 2.5 million to 3.8 million tonnes and lentils at 1.8 million to 2.6 million tonnes. Those numbers would compare with 4.6 million and 2.9 million tonnes respectively.

Table: Pre-report estimates for Canadian crop production as of July 31, 2021, in millions of metric tonnes, with numbers for 2020-21 from Statistics Canada for comparison.

Pre-report
estimates, 2021-22.    . 2020-21
Durum 3.300 – 5.400 6.570
All wheat.   . 18.900 – 25.400 35.182
Oats 2.500 – 3.300 4.576
Barley 6.500 – 10.100 10.741
Canola 11.500 – 16.000 18.720
Peas 2.500 – 3.800 4.594
Lentils 1.800 – 2.600 2.868
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