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Record Canola Harvest Projected


Despite a slow start due to wet weather this spring, Saskatchewan farmers appear poised to harvest a record canola crop this year, as well as increased production of wheat, barley and oats, Statistics Canada said in a report released Wednesday.

The better-than-expected harvest seems to be the silver lining in the storm clouds that blanketed the Prairies with excess moisture during the spring.

"In the West, farmers reported that recent hot, sunny weather may temper production losses that had been anticipated earlier because of a damp, late spring with persistent wet conditions in many areas,'' the StatsCan report said.

Total wheat production on the Prairies is expected to reach 21.5 million metric tonnes, up from 21 million tonnes produced in 2010.

Farmers estimate their average yield will be 40 bushels per acre, the same as 2010. Harvested area is estimated at 19.8 million acres, up 2.6 per cent.

Saskatchewan and Alberta farmers expect increased production of wheat in 2011, with Saskatchewan's wheat production estimated at 10.8 million tonnes and Alberta's at 8.5 million tonnes.

In Manitoba, however, farmers anticipate a 30 per cent decline to 2.3 million tonnes, the result of adverse weather conditions.

Prairie farmers expect canola production will increase 10.9 per cent to a record 13 million tonnes, thanks largely to the record 17.8 million acres of canola to be harvested and a strong yield of 32.3 bushels per acre.

In Saskatchewan, farmers anticipate a potential record production of 6.5 million tonnes, resulting from a record area to be harvested of 9.2 million acres, an increase of 1.8 million acres from 2010.

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