Barley Output to Fall to Lowest in More than 50 Years

For the last 50-plus years, Canadian barley production has always totaled over 7 million tonnes.

But due to severe Prairie drought, national barley output will fall short of that mark in 2021, with Friday’s Statistics Canada crop production report putting the crop at just 6.948 million tonnes. That is down from the federal agency’s September estimate of 7.14 million and far below 10.74 million a year earlier. In fact, it is the smallest Canadian barley crop since farmers harvested just 5.5 million tonnes in 1967.

However, traders were well aware of the impact of drought, with production guesses going into the report ranging from 6.3 million to 7.4 million tonnes.

On the other hand, national oat production was actually revised higher from September, up to 2.605 million tonnes from 2.57 million and coming in at the high end of trade estimates ranging from 2.3 million to 2.6 million tonnes. Last year’s Canadian oat crop amounted to 4.575 million tonnes.

The drop in the barley production estimate can be mostly attributed to a lower national average yield, which is now estimated at 43 bu/acre. That is down from 43.8 bu in September and 71.1 bu a year ago.

Meanwhile, oat production increased thanks to a 1.5 bu/acre increase in the average yield from September to 61.5 bu. However, that is still far below the previous year’s average of 91.3 bu.

Source: DePutter Publishing Ltd.

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