In the end, all the bad harvest weather on the Canadian Prairies this fall did end up taking a bite out of the 2018 canola crop.
In its final crop production report of the year on Thursday, Statistics Canada pegged this year’s nationwide canola output at 20.34 million tonnes, down about 600,000 tonnes from the agency’s model-based estimate in September and 4.6% below the 2017 crop of 21.32 million tonnes.
The final estimate comes in on the low side of pre-report trade expectations that ranged from 20.2 million to 21.3 million tonnes. Canola futures were trading slightly higher after the report’s release this morning.
From the first StatsCan production report in August to the final report in December, crop production estimates typically increase. However, cold, wet and snowy weather from about September through the first couple of weeks of October stranded a large amount of canola in the field, particularly in Alberta, leading to quality and yield downgrades.
This year’s final canola yield is estimated at 39.8 bu/acre, down from 41.1 bu in September but still above the August estimate of 37.5 bu. Last year’s average canola yield came in at 41 bu. At 22.53 million acres, canola harvested area was essentially unchanged from September but down from 22.9 million the previous year.
In Saskatchewan, the average 2018 canola yield is estimated at 39.3 bu/acre, down from 40.8 bu in September but up 1% from 2017. At 10.9 million tonnes, production in the province is down from 11.28 million in September and about 254,000 tonnes below a year earlier.
Farmers in Alberta reported this year’s average canola yield in the province at 38.8 bu/acre, well down from 42 bu in September and 11.2% below 2017, as the terrible harvest weather and earlier summer drought took a heavy toll. Production fell to 5.9 million tonnes, versus 6.39 million in September and 6.82 million last year.
Relatively less affected by the weather extremes this year, the average Manitoba canola yield was reported at 43.3 bu/acre, up from 40.7 bu in September although still below the previous year’s 44 bu. At 3.3 million tonnes, canola production in the province increased from 3.12 million in September and was up 5.4% over last year.
Source: DePutter Publishing Ltd.
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