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Canadian All Wheat Production Lowest Since 2007

Led by a nearly 10-million tonne fall in spring wheat output, Canadian all wheat production is projected to decline by more than one third this year.

A Statistics Canada crop production report Monday pegged 2021 national all wheat production at 22.94 million tonnes, down 34.8% from a year earlier and the smallest crop since 20.09 million in 2007. Pre-report trade estimates had the crop between 18.9 million and 25.4 million tonnes, while last week’s Agriculture Canada monthly supply-demand update put the crop at 20.17 million.

The bulk of the expected year-over-year decline in all wheat production is due to a projected 28.7% decline in the average yield to 37.2 bu/acre (the lowest since the 2007 average of 34.7 bu), although harvested area is expected lower as well – down 8.5% to 22.65 million acres. (National all wheat planted area for 2021 is estimated at 23.45 million acres, down 6.8% from a year earlier).

Today’s StatsCan estimates are based on yield models using satellite imagery, which showed much lower-than-normal vegetation health due to severe drought and heat across much of Western Canada this summer. However, coarse resolution-based modelling relies on historical averages for harvested area, meaning the number of wheat acres that are actually combined will likely be lower yet due to abandonment and early cutting for greenfeed. Final harvested area estimates will not be released by StatsCan until Dec. 3.

Spring wheat production for this year is estimated at 16.1 million tonnes, down 37.6% from the 2020 crop of 25.84 million and the lowest since 13.8 million in 2007. At 37.1 bu/acre, the average spring wheat yield is also the lowest since 2007 (34 bu), and well down from 53.6 bu in 2020.

The 2021 Canadian durum crop is forecast at 3.99 million tonnes, down more than 39% from last year’s crop of 6.57 million and the smallest since 3.02 million in 2010. At 27.2 bu/acre, the average expected durum yield is down from 42.6 bu last year and the lowest since 26.2 bu in 2003.

In contrast, this year’s Canadian winter wheat crop – which is primarily grown in Ontario where moisture conditions were much better compared to the Prairies – is estimated at 2.84 million tonnes, up from 2.77 million last year and the largest winter wheat crop since 2017. The average winter wheat yield is forecast at 78.9 bu/acre, up from 75.2 bu in 2020 and the highest since 79.1 bu in 2016.

In the primary production province of Saskatchewan, spring wheat production is forecast to fall 4.3 million tonnes or 40.6% to 6.3 million tonnes, while durum output declines 1.8 million tonnes or almost 35% to 3.39 million. At 31.7 bu/acre, the average expected spring wheat in the province is down from 48.7 bu last year while the average durum yield is projected to drop to 28.2 bu/acre from 45.9 bu.

Spring wheat output in Alberta is estimated at 5.35 million tonnes, down from 9.55 million last year, with the average yield falling to 34.6 bu/acre from 56.8 bu. Durum production in the province is forecast at just 601,000 tonnes, down by more than half from the 2020 crop of 1.32 million. The average Alberta durum yield is pegged at just 22.7 bu/acre, compared to 48.5 bu a year earlier.

The Manitoba spring wheat crop is pegged at 3.93 million tonnes, down from 5.18 million last year, with the average yield falling to 56.3 bu/acre from 61.5 bu.

Ontario all wheat production for 2021 is estimated by StatsCan at 2.7 million tonnes, up from 2.48 million in 2020. The province’s winter wheat crop at 2.55 million tonnes, is up from 2.33 million last year, with the average winter wheat yield climbing 4 bu from last year to 87 bu/acre.

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