Alberta’s most recent crop report included updated yield forecasts for several crops. Compared with the outlook from two weeks prior, the crop report showed a marginal decline in the canola yield and a light increase in the spring wheat yield. Looking at the yield history, the canola yield forecast for Alberta is falling in line with recent years but the spring wheat yield is above the previous five years for both the late-July and mid-August forecasts. The takeaway here is that wheat yields are being reported as above average while canola is about average.
Pea yields are forecast to fall shy of the 2016 yields but above other recent years. The crop report did not make any significant change to its pea yield forecast between late July and mid-August. There is not a clear pattern between Alberta’s yield forecasts and Statistics Canada’s final yields. Barley yields were held around 70 bushels per acre for the latest yield forecast, which is above last year’s yield. Historically, Alberta’s crop report understates barley yields versus Statistics Canada’s final yield forecast.
The barley situation is one to watch. With Alberta accounting for about half of Canada’s barley production, if we have above-average yields there, the outlook for barley production could be larger than the current projection. And that balance sheet already is forecast to be burdensome.
While we cannot take the crop report yields at face value, what the report does tell us is that the crops in Alberta are in average to above-average condition and no major concerns are present from a supply standpoint. Saskatchewan is the top producer for several row crops but Alberta produces a notable portion of several commodities.
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