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Corn Production Expected Higher; Soybean Output to Fall

A strong average yield will help push Canadian corn production slightly higher this year, while soybean output is projected to decline.

This year’s national corn crop will amount to 13.67 million tonnes, according to a Statistics Canada crop production report released Monday. That is up 0.8% from the previous year and is the largest crop since 3.88 million tonnes in 2018. On the other hand, soybean output is expected to fall 8.4% to 5.82 million tonnes, the smallest crop since 5.35 million in 2013.

National corn harvested area is projected down 2.3% to 3.4 million acres, however, that decline is expected to be more than offset by an average yield of 158.4 bu/acre, up from 153.5 bu in 2020 and the highest since 162.6 bu in 2015. At 40.5 bu/acre, the average soybean yield is projected down 12.5% from last year’s 46.3 bu – more than enough to negate an expected 4.8% increase in harvested area to 5.3 million acres.

Today’s StatsCan estimates are based on yield models using satellite imagery, which showed generally decent growing conditions across much of Ontario, while vegetation health was lower than usual across the Prairies due to severe drought and heat.

In Ontario, the largest corn–producing province, production is expected to rise 1.7% to 9.1 million tonnes, on higher yields (+3.4% to 169.4 bu/acre). This would offset lower harvested area, which is projected to fall 1.6% to 2.1 million acres.

Corn production in Quebec is projected to rise 7.8% to 3.5 million tonnes. Yields are expected to increase 8.8% to 157.4 bu/acre, while harvested area is expected to decline 0.8% to 880,300 acres.

In contrast, corn production in Manitoba is forecast to fall to 923,500 tonnes from 1.14 million in 2020. Harvested area in the province is expected to decline about 17,000 acres from last year but the biggest part of the decline is due to a sharply lower expected yield; down to 103.6 bu/acre from 122.2 bu a year earlier.

As for soybeans, farmers in Ontario are projected to produce 1.6% fewer beans in 2021 for a total of 3.8 million tonnes. Harvested area is expected to rise 3.2% to 2.9 million acres, but the average yield is anticipated to decrease 4.7% to 48.3 bu/acre.

In Manitoba, soybean production is projected to decrease 30.8% to 804,700 tonnes in 2021. Harvested area is expected to increase 13.5% to 1.3 million acres but yields are projected to fall 39.1% on the year to 22.7 bu/acre due to dry conditions in the province.

Quebec soybean output is estimated at 1.06 million tonnes, down from 1.15 million in 2020. Harvested area in the province is projected higher from a year ago at 921,000 acres but the average expected yield, at 42.6 bu/acre, is down from 48.4 bu a year ago.

Saskatchewan corn and soybean production for this year is forecast at 11,500 and 47,200 tonnes, compared to 19,300 and 68,800 a year earlier. At 20.8 bu/acre, the average soybean yield in the province actually improved from 20 bu last year but the average corn yield dropped to 44.7 bu/acre from 56.8 bu a year ago.

Thanks to a big drop in harvested area, Alberta corn output is anticipated to plunge to just 39,9000 tonnes this year, versus 108,6000 last year. The average expected yield is down as well, falling to 120 bu/acre from 141 bu in 2020.

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