Once again Statistics Canada has lowered its estimates for national wheat and canola production for 2021, the national statistic service says in a Sept. 14 news release.
The August principal field crop estimates peg the Canadian wheat crop falling 38.3 per cent year over year to 21.7 million tonnes, while canola production will drop 34.4 per cent. to 12.8 million tonnes. The July estimates had wheat dropping 34.8 per cent and canola 24.3 per cent.
“Lower production has largely been driven by ongoing drought conditions in Western Canada, which are expected to lead to a decrease in yields,” the release says.
The release notes wheat yield in Alberta is expected to decrease 40.5 per cent to 33.2 bushels per acre in 2021, and harvested area is projected to fall seven per cent, resulting in a 44.6 per cent production decrease to 6.1 million tonnes. Alberta canola will drop 17.1 per cent to 4.3 million tonnes. Yields are projected to fall 28.6 per cent to 28.7 bushels per acre, while harvested area is expected to rise 16 cent to 6.6 million acres.
Statistics Canada is predicting nationally barley production will fall 33.5 per cent year over year to 7.1 million tonnes, while oat production is projected to fall 43.6 per cent to 2.6 million tonnes.
“Adverse weather conditions are expected to have considerable impacts on crop yields, with substantial yield declines anticipated for most crops in Western Canada.”
The drought has pushed harvest across the Prairies to well ahead of average, provincial agriculture department data shows. At the end of August, the Alberta government reported that over one-quarter (26 per cent) of the major crops was in the bin, well over double last year’s harvest season at 10 per cent and the five-year average of 11 per cent.
Production estimates are based on satellite technology. Final harvested area estimates for the 2021 growing season will be release on Dec. 3, 2021.