Better growing conditions on the Prairies are pushing national crop production estimates up for Canada, the July 2022 principal field crop areas report from Statistics Canada says. Nationally, it’s now estimated farmers will produce more wheat, canola, barley and oats based on estimates from satellite imagery and agroclimatic data.
Higher-than-average precipitation and more moderate temperatures have resulted in better crop conditions than in 2021 for parts of the Prairies, the report said. In Alberta, provincial reports indicate approximately three-quarters of the total crop were rated as being in good to excellent condition, well above 2021 reports.
The Crop Condition Assessment Program indicated overall plant health in the Prairie provinces was similar to higher-than-normal at the end of July. An assessment of Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) curves, showed that despite a somewhat slower-than-normal start to the growing season, most areas of Western Canada have exceeded normal NDVI values. The report noted in most parts of the Prairies, crops reached peak health in line with normal crop development.
Nationally, wheat production is projected to increase by 55.1 per cent year over year to 34.6 million tonnes in 2022, due to higher anticipated yields. Harvested area is also expected to increase by 9.4 per cent to 24.9 million acres. In Alberta, wheat production is estimated to increase by 79.5 per cent to 11.5 million tonnes, due largely to higher yields, while harvested area will rise by 9.3 per cent to 7.4 million acres.
Canola production nationally is predicted to rise by 41.7 per cent to 19.5 million tonnes, as growing conditions in the Prairies improved considerably relative to 2021, pushing yields higher, the report said. In Alberta, it’s expected to increase by 49.1 per cent to 6.5 million tonnes. The projected increase in yields will offset a decrease in harvested area.
Higher national barley yields will offset lower anticipated harvested area. As a result, barley production will rise by 34.3 per cent year over year to 9.3 million tonnes in 2022, the report said.
National oat production is projected to increase by 59.2 per cent to 4.5 million tonnes. Harvested area will rise by 10.6 per cent to 3.2 million acres, and yields will be up by 44.1 per cent year over year to 90.2 bushels per acre in 2022.
Final harvested area estimates will be published on Dec. 2, 2022, based on the November 2022 Field Crop Survey, the report noted.