Two reports that give a snapshot on what this year's harvest might look like, came out recently.
Alberta's latest crop report, released on Friday, shows almost all areas of the province received some rainfall over the past couple of weeks. Overall crop conditions showed a slight improvement from the last report a couple of weeks ago. 19 percent of crops are reported in good to excellent condition, as compared to 18 percent. As expected, harvesting is well underway in all regions of the province. Southern Alberta is most advanced while the Peace region is really just getting started. Overall yield estimates are considerably lower in the areas that suffered the most from the drought this summer.
Meanwhile, Stats-Can issued crop production estimates based on satellite imagery and remote sensing taken at the end of last month. In the first report of the season, Stats-Can put canola production this fall at 14.75 million tonnes, down about a quarter from last year. Analyst Ken Ball believes that will be reduced even further in follow up reports this fall. "The early yield reports in canola have mostly been coming in a little bit below expectations. The general thinking is that canola number will come down from that 14.75 million tonne. That's assuming that 14.75 is a good starting point, which we're not real sure about."
The Stats-Can report pegged wheat production this fall at 16.1 million tonnes. That's a whopping 38 percent lower than a year ago. There has been some encouraging news from some producers on the prairies, who are finding early yields to be higher than they thought they would be.