Statistics Canada’s forecast of 2017 crop production was similar to what the trade expected in most crops except durum.
Production of most major crops is down significantly from last year because of challenging growing conditions this year, particularly dry weather in southern areas.
Durum production at 3.898 million tonnes is down almost 50 percent from last year’s large crop and is below the range of trader’s expectations at 4.2 million to 5.4 million.
The canola forecast at 18.203 is down 7.1 percent from last year.
Statistics Canada also revised some production number from the 2016 crop. It now says that the 2016 canola crop was 19.601 million tonnes, up more than a million tonnes from the previous official estimate.
The soybean crop is the one of the few major categories where production is up from last year, climbing almost 20 percent to 7.743 million tonnes.
Oats is also up, climbing 15 percent to 3.685 million tonnes.
The estimates are derived from the July Farm Survey of crop production covering about 13,300 Canadian farms. The survey was conducted from July 19 to August 1, 2017.
Below the chart is the StatsCan commentary.
This chart shows the forecasts compared to industry expectations and last year’s production. In million tonnes:
Canadian farmers expect wheat production to decrease in most provinces in 2017. Nationally, total wheat production is anticipated at 25.5 million tonnes, down 19.5 percent compared with 2016. Although harvested area should remain stable at 22.0 million acres, the drop can be traced to a projected lower average yield of 42.5 bushels per acre, down 20.1 percent from the 53.2 bushels per acre reported in 2016.
Farmers in Saskatchewan anticipate wheat production to decrease 29.9 percent from 2016 to 10.2 million tonnes. This is mainly attributable to a 28.8 percent decline in anticipated average yield to 33.7 bushels per acre, as harvested area should only be down 1.7 percent from 2016. Similarly, producers in Alberta expect an 18.3 percent fall in average yield to 47.4 bushels per acre, resulting in an anticipated 9.1 percent decrease in total wheat production to 9.0 million tonnes.
Manitoba farmers expect a decline in wheat production to 3.6 million tonnes (-14.3 percent), driven by a lower anticipated harvested area of 2.7 million acres (-8.5 percent), and a 6.4 percent decrease in average yield to 49.7 bushels per acre. In Ontario, total wheat production (derived from winter wheat, mainly) is anticipated to decrease 10.6 percent from 2016 to 2.3 million tonnes.
Canadian farmers anticipate producing 18.2 million tonnes of canola in 2017, down 7.1 percent from 2016. While harvested area is expected to rise to 22.8 million acres, lower average yields in Alberta and Saskatchewan are likely to contribute to the national decline in production.
Saskatchewan farmers are expecting canola production to fall 13.7 percent from 2016 to 9.2 million tonnes in 2017, despite a substantial increase in area seeded in 2017. The decrease in production is entirely due to the average yield declining 23.8 percent from 2016 to 32.3 bushels per acre.
In Alberta, canola harvested area is reported at a record 6.9 million acres, up 17.9 percent from 2016. However, farmers anticipate the average yield to fall 16.6 percent to 38.7 bushels per acre. Ultimately, canola production is anticipated to decrease 1.6 percent from a year earlier to 6.1 million tonnes in 2017.
Meanwhile, Manitoba farmers are expecting canola production to increase 6.5 percent from 2016 to 2.8 million tonnes in 2017.
Corn for grain
At the national level, Canadian farmers expect corn for grain production to increase 3.4 percent to 13.6 million tonnes in 2017, despite a 3.3 percent decrease in average yield to 153.4 bushels per acres. The anticipated production increase is attributable to a 7.0 percent rise in harvested area to 3.5 million acres.
Ontario farmers anticipate corn for grain production to reach 8.6 million tonnes, up 6.3 percent from 2016. This is the result of anticipated increases in harvested area (+4.2 percent to 2.1 million acres) and average yield (+2.0 percent to 161.6 bushels per acre).
Quebec farmers expect corn for grain production to decline 6.6 percent from the previous year to 3.5 million tonnes. Despite an anticipated 5.0 percent increase in harvested area, an 11.1 percent decline in yield would lead to this production decline.
Conversely, Manitoba farmers expect record corn for grain production, up 9.8 percent from 2016 to 1.3 million tonnes in 2017. This is mainly the result of a harvested area anticipated to increase to a record 405,000 acres (+22.7 percent), as average yield is expected to fall 10.5 percent to 124.7 bushels per acre.
Nationally, Canadian farmers expect soybean production to reach another record high in 2017, up 19.8 percent from 2016 to 7.7 million tonnes as a result of a projected 34.6 percent increase in harvested area. The record high is anticipated despite an average yield that is expected to decrease 10.9 percent from 2016 to 39.3 bushels per acres.
In Ontario, soybean harvested area is expected to rise 13.3 percent to 3.1 million acres, while the average yield is expected to decline 2.8 percent to 44.6 bushels per acre in 2017. As a result, Ontario farmers anticipate a 10.2 percent increase in production to 3.7 million tonnes.
In Manitoba, farmers expect record soybean production for a sixth consecutive year, up 27.0 percent from 2016 to 2.2 million tonnes in 2017. This would be entirely due to a harvested area expected to rise to a record 2.3 million acres (+44.8 percent), since average yield is reported at 36.2 bushels per acre, 12.3 percent lower than in 2016.
In Saskatchewan, where soybean harvested area more than tripled in 2017 (to 845,000 acres), farmers expect production to reach 547 000 tonnes. Quebec producers anticipate a 10.6 percent production increase to 1.2 million tonnes in 2017.
Barley and oats
Canadian farmers expect barley production to fall 17.9 percent to 7.2 million tonnes in 2017. This decline is expected to be the result of a 4.6 percent decrease in harvested area to 5.2 million acres, combined with a 13.9 percent drop in average yield to 63.2 bushels per acre.
Canadian farmers expect oat production to rise 15.3 percent from 2016 to 3.7 million tonnes. This is a result of a harvested area expected to rise to 2.7 million acres, as national average yield is anticipated to decline 2.6 percent to 90.0 bushels per acre.