OTTAWA — Statistics Canada in this season’s first crop production report issued Aug. 30 forecast Canadian wheat production at a 14-year low, canola outturn at a nine-year low and most other crops also down sharply due to drought and hot weather across major growing areas.
Canada’s 2021 all-wheat production was forecast at 22,948,000 tonnes, slightly above the average of trade expectations at 22.6 million tonnes but down 35% from 2020 and the lowest in 14 years. The average all-wheat yield was forecast down 29% from 2020 and harvest area down 9%. Spring wheat production was forecast at 16,102,000 tonnes, down 38% from 2020, durum at 3,998,000 tonnes, down 39%, and winter wheat at 2,847,000 tonnes, up 2.8%.
Canola production was forecast at 14,749,000 tonnes, also above the average trade expectation at 14.1 million tonnes but down 24% from 2020 and the lowest in nine years. Average canola yield was forecast down 30% from last year, more than offsetting an expected 8% increase in harvested area.
“Farmers across Western Canada have had to contend with a lack of rain and higher-than-average temperatures throughout the growing season,” Stats Canada said. “This has exacerbated soil moisture conditions, which were already low at the start of the year. These factors have negatively impacted crop growth and yield potential across much of the Prairies. By comparison, other notable droughts such as 2002 — while difficult for many — were less widespread than this year’s.”
Only corn and winter wheat production were forecast above year-ago levels this year, both mainly grown in Eastern Canada.
Other 2021 crop production forecasts included barley at 7,836,000 tonnes, down 27%; oats at 3,070,000 tonnes, down 33%; corn at 13,677,000 tonnes, up 0.8%; soybeans at 5,823,000 tonnes, down 8%; fall rye at 433,000 tonnes, down 9%; flaxseed at 416,000 tonnes, down 28%; lentils at 1,979,000 tonnes, down 31%; chickpeas at 63,000 tonnes, down 71%; dry field peas at 2,627,000 tonnes, down 43%; and mustard seed at 79,000 tonnes, down 20%.
The forecasts were based on satellite imagery, agroclimatic data and yield models up to July 31. The next production update will be issued Sept. 14 with a final survey-based estimate issued Dec. 3.