Jon Driedger of LeftField Commodity Research recently took a tour across Western Canada with LeftField Commodity Research and Argus Media to analyze the yield potential of the Prairie crop. Like any year, there are extremely variable pockets, but Driedger says for the most part, yields are looking average.
The summary for cereals — with the exception of durum, as it is grown in some of the areas that certainly didn’t get a lot of rain this year — was average plus, says Driedger. Pulses and canola numbers they saw were around average as well.
As mentioned, there are some exceptions to this average, with one of the bigger caveats being the lateness to a lot of the crop.
“Particularly in the eastern half of the Prairies where it was wet, and it got in the ground late, maybe even in sort of central Alberta [is late]. And as you moved a little bit further North, I think that particularly in the case of canola, it got a little late, and in some cases maybe it was a little slow going. So there’s some frost risk,” he explains. “If you have a good open fall, everything is fine. Or, if you have a bit of an early frost, the crop is not quite there, and now you have had an impact either on yield quality, or both.”
In terms of estimates, the group at LeftField Commodity Research is estimating about 19.6 million metric tonnes (MMT) of canola, which is based on a yield of 41 bushels per acre. According to Driedger, this is a bit below average, when you exclude 2021 in the five-year average.
“That’s based on what farmers say, and some of the farms we looked at. In central Alberta, the barley looks great, wheat is a good average plus kind of consistency. Canola is kind of the one that’s lagging a bit. Frost is a bit of a wild card, but certainly a vast improvement from last year’s disaster.”
Learn more about yield expectations and where the market is sitting in the full conversation with Driedger, here: