OTTAWA — Lower yields due to poor weather in Canada are expected to reduce 2018 production of all major grains except durum and barley, including all wheat down 3.3% and canola down 10% from 2017, Statistics Canada said in its first survey-based crop forecast of the season.
“Wheat conditions, including lower-than-average precipitation in several parts of Canada, are expected to drive down production and lower anticipated yields for some crops,” Statistics Canada said in its Production of Principal Field Crops, July 2018 report released Aug. 31. “In addition, high temperatures in some areas may have contributed to an expected decrease in production and average yields for some crops.”
Production of all wheat was forecast at 28,987,300 tonnes, down 996,900 tonnes, or 3.3%, from 29,984,200 tonnes in 2017, Statistics Canada said. Spring wheat other than durum was forecast at 21,559,400 tonnes, down 607,300 tonnes, or 2.7%, from 22,166,700 tonnes last year. Winter wheat outturn was estimated at 2,394,200 tonnes, down 461,100 tonnes, or 16%, from 2,855,300 tonnes in 2017.
But durum production was forecast at 5,033,700 tonnes, up 71,500 tonnes, or 1.4%, from 4,962,200 tonnes last year.
“Total harvested area of wheat in Canada is expected to increase 9.4% from 2017, to 24.3 million acres in 2018,” Statistics Canada said. “Total yields at the national level are expected to fall 11.5%, from an average of 49.6 bus per acre in 2017 to 43.9 bus per acre in 2018.”
Provincially, all wheat production in top-producing Saskatchewan was forecast at 12.8 million tonnes, down 0.8% from 12.9 million tonnes last year, due to a forecast 13.5% increase in harvested area in 2018 more than offset by a 13% reduction in average yield.
Canola production was forecast at 19,162,100 tonnes, down 2,165,900 tonnes, or 10%, from 21,328,000 tonnes in 2017. The reduction was based on harvested area forecast at 22.5 million acres, down 1.7% from 2017, and an average yield of 37.5 bus per acre, down 8.5%, Statistics Canada said. Production in Saskatchewan was forecast at 10.1 million tonnes, down 10%, in Alberta at 6 million tonnes, down 12%, and in Manitoba at 2.9 million tonnes, down 8%.
Oats production in 2018 was forecast at 3,304,700 tonnes, down 428,400 tonnes, or 11%, from 3,733,100 tonnes last year.
Production of corn for grain was forecast at 13,788,800 tonnes, down 306,500 tonnes, or 2.2%, from 14,095,300 tonnes in 2017.
Soybean production was forecast at 7,010,200 tonnes, down 706,400 tonnes, or 9%, from 7,716,600 tonnes last year. Soybean production had been increasing annually for several years.
Of the key crops, the only increase in production was forecast for barley at 7,991,600 tonnes, up 100,300 tonnes, or 1.3%, from 7,891,300 tonnes in 2017 as an 11.5% increase in harvested area more than offset an expected 9% decline in average yield.
Production, harvested area and average yield forecasts were based on a survey of 13,110 Canadian farmers taken from July 6 to Aug. 1. Final 2018 production estimates will be released Dec. 6 and are subject to revision for two years, Statistics Canada said.