Smaller Durum, Spring Wheat Crops Lower All Wheat Output

Due to downgrades for spring wheat, and especially durum, Canadian all wheat production for 2022 will not meet earlier expectations. 

Statistics Canada’s final crop production report for this year’s growing season on Friday pegged total national wheat production at 33.823 million tonnes - up almost 52% from a year earlier but down from the federal agency’s model-based estimate of 34.702 million in September. Although still the third largest on record, the crop also landed on the low side of pre-report trade estimates that ranged from 33.8 million to 35.5 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.  

​​​​​​​The bulk of the decline in the all wheat estimate from September can be attributed to a smaller durum crop, which dropped to 5.443 million tonnes from 6.117 million. That is still up from the 2021 drought-ravaged harvest of just over 3 million tonnes but remains well down from the 2020 crop of 6.571 million.  

At 25.679 million tonnes, the spring wheat crop was reduced from 26.053 million in September, but that is still comfortably above the 2021 crop of 16.25 million. The winter wheat crop was bumped modestly higher from September, to 2.701 million from 2.532 million, but down from just over 3 million last year. 

The national all wheat average yield is estimated at 49.9 bu/acre in today’s report, well below 53.7 bu in September but still far above 36.1 bu in 2021. The all wheat harvested area estimate of 24.9 million acres is basically unchanged from September. 

The average durum yield, at 33.7 bu/acre, was lowered from 38.4 bu in September. It is interesting to note that in its initial model-based production estimates in August, StatsCan had the average durum yield as high as 40.6 bu – perhaps suggesting the outsized impact late-season heat and dryness on the Prairies had on what was once a much more promising crop. 

At 52.9 bu/acre, the average national spring wheat yield was trimmed from 53.7 bu in September, while the winter wheat yield is up almost 5 bu from 2021 at 87 bu/acre. 

With the average yield dropping to 41.4 bu from 43.5 bu/acre, Saskatchewan all wheat production for 2022 is now down to 14.76 million tonnes from 15.36 million in September, but up 67.2% from last year. 

The Alberta all wheat crop is seen at 11.34 million tonnes, down marginally from 11.56 million in September as the average yield slipped to 55.6 bu/acre from 57.4 bu. Regardless of this month’s downgrade, wheat yields in the province are still at their highest level since 2020 and above the five-year average of 49.2 bu/acre from 2017 to 2021, as timely precipitation contributed to greater production – up 76.7% compared to 2021. 

Manitoba all wheat output is now pegged at 4.75 million tonnes, versus 5.16 million in September but up nearly 27% on the year. The average all wheat yield of 58.1 bu is down 59.3 bu in September but up 21.3% from 2021. 

The Ontario all wheat crop, the bulk of which is winter wheat, is estimated at 2.39 million tonnes, down from 2.18 million in 2021 amid a fall in planted and harvested area. The provincial all wheat yield, at 93.6 bu/acre, is up from 87.9 bu the previous year. 

Source: DePutter Publishing Ltd.

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