Statistics Canada ups crop production estimates

Winnipeg, (MarketsFarm) – Updated model-based production estimates from Statistics Canada released Sept. 12 expect larger yields for most of the major crops grown in the country. While harvest operations are still ongoing, the actual crops may end up larger still.

“All of the numbers are bigger, whether it’s durum, spring wheat, canola,” said analyst Mike Jubinville, of MarketsFarm Pro. He added that Statistics Canada has a tendency to understate production in early reports, with the final numbers typically well above the initial August forecast.

“Harvest issues will certainly play a role in the ultimate yield and quality of this crop,” said Jubinville.

Statistics Canada pegged canola production at 19.358 million tonnes, which was up by roughly 900,000 tonnes from the August estimate, but still below the 20.343 million tonnes grown the previous year and the five-year average of 19.211 million tonnes. Of the total, production was expected to be up in both Alberta and Saskatchewan compared to the August forecast, while Manitoba saw a slight downward revision.

All-wheat production was forecast at 32.491 million tonnes by Statistics Canada, which would be up from both the August estimate of 31.251 million tonnes. and the year-ago level of 32.201 million tonnes.

“Our expectation was that the vast majority of numbers should be going up,” said Neil Townsend, of FarmLink Marketing Solutions. He said total canola production could end up above 20 million tonnes, while wheat may be one to two million tonnes above the latest estimate.

The model-based numbers released on Sept. 12 used a relatively new methodology that has only been in practice for five years. Production was calculated using a model created in with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada that incorporates coarse resolution satellite data from Statistics Canada’s Crop Condition Assessment Program, data from Statistics Canada’s field crop reporting series, and agro-climatic data.

The following is a quick summary of the Statistics Canada September model-based crop production estimates for 2019/20. August survey-based estimates and year-ago numbers are included for comparison.

Production in million metric tons. Source: Statistics Canada.

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