Glacier FarmMedia COVID-19 & the Farm

Statistics Canada boosts crop production estimates

(Dave Bedard photo)

MarketsFarm — Updated model-based production estimates on Thursday from Statistics Canada expect larger yields for most of the major crops grown in the country — and while harvest operations are still ongoing, the actual crops may end up larger still.

“All of the numbers are bigger, whether it’s durum, spring wheat, canola,” said analyst Mike Jubinville of MarketsFarm Pro. Statistics Canada has a tendency to understate production in early reports, he said, with the final numbers typically well above the initial August forecast.

“Harvest issues will certainly play a role in the ultimate yield and quality of this crop,” he said.

Statistics Canada pegged canola production at 19.358 million tonnes, which was up by roughly 900,000 tonnes from the August estimate, but still below the 20.343 million tonnes grown the previous year and the five-year average of 19.211 million tonnes.

Of the total, production was expected to be up in both Alberta and Saskatchewan compared to the August forecast, while Manitoba saw a slight downward revision.

All-wheat production was forecast at 32.491 million tonnes by StatsCan, up from both the August estimate of 31.251 million tonnes and the year-ago level of 32.201 million tonnes.

“Our expectation was that the vast majority of numbers should be going up,” said Neil Townsend of FarmLink Marketing Solutions. Total canola production could end up above 20 million tonnes, while wheat may be one to two million tonnes above the latest estimate.

The model-based numbers released Thursday used a relatively new methodology that has only been in practice for five years. Production was calculated using a model created in partnership with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, incorporating coarse-resolution satellite data from StatsCan’s crop condition assessment program, data from StatsCan’s field crop reporting series, and agro-climatic data.

— Phil Franz-Warkentin writes for MarketsFarm, a Glacier FarmMedia division specializing in grain and commodity market analysis and reporting.

Table: A quick summary of the Statistics Canada September model-based crop production estimates for 2019-20; August survey-based estimates and year-ago numbers included for comparison. Production in millions of metric tonnes. Source: Statistics Canada.

Sept. August Five-year
2019-20.  . 2019-20.  . 2018-19.  . average
Durum 4.998 4.420 5.745 5.810
All wheat.   . 32.491 31.251 32.201 30.362
Oats 4.016 3.952 3.436 3.360
Barley 9.987 9.645 8.380 8.097
Flaxseed 0.577 0.558 0.492 0.693
Canola 19.358 18.453 20.343 19.211
Peas 4.672 4.528 3.581 3.908
Lentils 2.520 2.384 2.092 2.474
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