Especially in Alberta, producers obviously had a much more pessimistic view of this year’s Canadian canola crop than did Statistics Canada’s model-based estimating methods.
In its final crop production report for the 2022 season Friday, StatsCan pegged national canola production at 18.174 million tonnes. That is still up sharply from last year’s drought-reduced harvest of 13.757 million but is well down from the federal agency’s September forecast of 19.099 million. The estimate also falls well below the low end of pre-report trade guesses that ranged from 18.6 million to 19.7 million tonnes.
Today’s crop production report is based on the findings of a survey sent to approximately 27,200 Canadian farms between Oct. 7 and Nov. 14, 2022, when the bulk of the harvest was complete. Farmers were asked to report their estimated seeded and harvested areas, yields and production of grains, oilseeds and special crops. In contrast, the September crop production report contained model-based estimates that incorporated satellite imagery. StatsCan also released model-based estimates in August.
With estimated nationwide canola harvested area unchanged at 21.2 million acres, all the decline in production from September is due to a lower average yield, which was reduced 2 bu to 37.7 bu/acre. Aside from last year’s drought-impacted yield of 27.4 bu/acre, that is the lowest national canola yield since 34.9 bu in 2014.
As was the case in September - when canola production was trimmed from August - most of the decline this time around is due to Alberta, where growing conditions were still unfavourably dry, especially in the more southern areas. The province’s canola crop is now pegged at 5.59 million tonnes, down from 6.09 million in September and even further below the August estimate of 6.47 million. At 38.1 bu/acre, the average Alberta canola yield is down from 41.7 bu in September and 44.3 bu in August.
In the largest production province of Saskatchewan, canola ouput is estimated at 9.53 million tonnes, down from 9.69 million in September as the average yield dropped 0.8 bu to 37 bu/acre. The provincial yield is up from just 25 bu a year ago but still the second lowest since 33 bu in 2014.
At 2.87 million tonnes, Manitoba canola production was revised down from 3.14 million in September but is still up more than 14% from a year earlier. The average provincial yield of 39.4 bu was lowered from 42.5 bu/acre in September but is still up 20.5% from 2021.