Satellite monitoring predicts big crop

An experimental analysis of satellite images indicates western Canadian farmers had large crops of wheat and canola in their fields in the first week of August.

Statistics Canada’s Crop Condition Assessment Program sees the average western Canadian spring wheat yield at 41.5 bushels per acre for a 19.056 million tonne crop. In July, the CWB forecasted 19.96 million tonnes.

Last year at this time, CCAP forecasted a spring wheat crop of 17.6 million tonnes. The actual final size as recorded by Statistics Canada was 18.03 million.

The CCAP this year sees canola average yield at 34.2 bu. per acre for a record western Canadian crop of 16.082 million tonnes. The CWB did not estimate canola production.

The experimental CCAP process uses Normalized Difference Vegetation Index measurements that monitor the amount of lush, green vegetation. The data comes from satellites measuring near-infrared light.

Statistics Canada will release its yield and production estimates based on farmer surveys Aug. 22.

The CCAP sees western Canadian average durum yields at 36.9 bu. per acre for a crop of 4.592 million tonnes, which is close to the CWB estimate of 4.6 million.

The barley average yield is 61.3 bu. per acre for a crop of 8.654 million tonnes. The CWB estimated 8.04 million.

On a provincial basis, CCAP projects the following yields:

  • Alberta — spring wheat 50.1 bushels an acre, canola 39.5 bu. per acre, durum 43.2 bu. per acre and barley 65.6 bu. per acre.
  • Saskatchewan — spring wheat 37.2 bu. per acre, canola 31.9 bu. per acre, durum 35.9 bu. per acre and barley 55.5 bu. per acre.
  • Manitoba — spring wheat 40 bu. per acre, canola 34.2 bu. per acre, durum not applicable and barley 60.3 bu. per acre.

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