Record corn, less soy and canola, says StatsCan's satellite survey


In its second production estimate for the year, Statistics Canada believes this year’s harvest will result in a record corn harvest.

It’s projected there will be 14.5 million tonnes of grain corn harvested this fall, up 2.6% from 2017. The increase in production is the result of a combination of increased harvested area (+2.4%) from 2017, with yield for 2018 estimated at 160.1 bushels per acre.

StatsCan pegs the Ontario corn crop at a record 9.1 million tonnes, based on a yield estimate of 169.3 bushels per acre, up 1.4% from 2017. The previous record yield for Ontario was 169.0 bushels per acre in 2015.

Meanwhile out west, the canola crop is pegged around 21.0 million tonnes for the year, down 1.5% from 2017. 2018 yields are estimated to be very slightly above last year, however, its estimated farmers will harvest 1.7% less total area. Hot, dry weather was a concern earlier this summer, however, some relief in August improved the canola yield estimates across the Prairies from earlier forecasts, StatsCan says.. Current yield estimates include 40.7 bushels per acre in Manitoba, 40.8 bushels per acre in Saskatchewan, and 42.0 bushels per acre for Alberta.

Soybeans are expected to be in the range of 7.5 million tonnes, down 2.6%, with an average of 44.1 bushels per acre (a bump of 12.8%, overall). Despite the increase in average yield, the reduction stems from an anticipated decline of 13.7% in harvested area (6.3 million acres).

Ontario is estimated to produce four million tonnes of Canada’s soybeans, or 53.3% of the national production in 2018. Manitoba is second at 1.9 million tonnes, or 25.3% of the country’s capacity. That is a substantial increase from the 36,700 tonnes produced in 2001, when Statistics Canada first reported soybean production in Manitoba.

Total wheat production in Canada is estimated to be 31.0 million tonnes in 2018, an increase of 3.5%  over 2017. An overall decline in estimated total wheat yield to 46.9 bushels per acre somewhat offset a 9.4% increase in harvested area compared with 2017.

Spring wheat harvested area in 2018 is anticipated to be up 8.7 per cent compared with 2017, with a decrease in Manitoba acres being made up for in Saskatchewan and Alberta. Total production for spring wheat is pegged at  22.9 million tonnes, up 3.4% compared with 2017. Average spring wheat yields in the Prairie provinces are expected to be lower compared with 2017, with decreases estimated in Manitoba (-8.9% to 54.5 bushels per acre), Saskatchewan (-6.9% to 43.2 bushels per acre) and Alberta (-0.7% to 55.1 bushels per acre).

Durum wheat production at the national level is expected to be 5.7 million tonnes in 2018, up 15.0% from 2017.

Although dry conditions were to blame for a slow start for the 2018 crop in its first estimation of the year, recent wet weather has proved to have helped overall crop conditions, especially on the Prairies.

Different from the previous report, this one was based off of coarse resolution satellite data from Statistics Canada’s Crop Condition Assessment Program, data from Statistics Canada’s field crop reporting series, and agroclimatic data.

Production is expected to increase this year compared to last year for: wheat, spring wheat, durum wheat, barley, chickpeas, corn for grain, dry beans, mixed grains, mustard, and sunflowers.

On the other hand, production from this year compared to last is expected to decrease for: canary seed, canola, dry peas, flaxseed, fall rye, lentils, oats, soybeans, and winter wheat.

For the full data breakdown click here.

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