US Flax Production Up Modestly in 2020

US flax production inched up just modestly in 2020, as a larger harvested area offset a small decline in the average yield.

In its first estimate of the 2020 flax crop in the annual summary report released Tuesday, the USDA pegged American production at 144,940 tonnes, up 1% from the 2019 crop of 142,880 tonnes. At 296,000 acres, 2020 harvested area was up 4% from a year earlier – enough to push production higher despite a 0.5 bu/acre decline in the average national yield to 19.3 bu.

However, the US remains a relatively small flax player compared to Canada. The 2020 Canadian crop amounted to 578,000 tonnes, up from 486,000 the previous year.

Meanwhile, the USDA also adjusted its 2020 production estimates for a number of other crops compared to earlier projections, including for canola.

The American canola crop is now estimated at 1.56 million tonnes, up from the earlier government estimate of 1.44 million but little changed from 1.54 million in 2019. In contrast, the 2020 Canadian canola crop amounted to 18.72 million tonnes.

The final 2020 American dry bean production estimate is 1.49 million tonnes, down from 1.58 million previously but still up a whooping 59% from a year earlier. Harvested area came in at 1.68 million acres, up 43% from a year earlier, while the average yield was up 197 lbs from 2019 to 19.66 cwt/acre.

Last year’s US lentil crop is pegged at 336,160 tonnes, compared to the earlier estimate of just over 295,000 and up 40% from a year earlier. Planted area, at 528,000 acres, was up 9% from 2019, while harvested acreage jumped 21% to 514,000 acres. The 2020 average lentil yield is estimated at 1,442 lbs/acre, up 192 lbs from last year.

The US sunflower crop got larger, increasing to 1.352 million tonnes from the previous estimate of 1.273 million and up 52% from 2019. Sunflower harvested area increased 33% from 2019 to 1.67 million acres while the average yield increased 230 lbs to 1,790 lbs/acre. Production of oil-type sunflowers increased 48% from the previous year while non-oil output leapt 92%.

The 2020 US chickpea crop is now estimated 193,820 tonnes, compared to 176,420 previously and 283,770 in 2019 as harvested area fell 35%.

Estimated US dry pea output was left unchanged from the earlier USDA estimate of 840,690 tonnes, down 2% from a year earlier as the highest average yield on record offset a smaller planted and harvested area.

Source: DePutter Publishing Ltd.

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