Statistics Canada Lowers Wheat Estimate—Keeps Canola Steady

The federal agency is forecasting a smaller wheat crop now than in its last report in late August.

The September 14th numbers were gathered using satellite technology and vegetative growth index maps.

Total wheat production (spring wheat, durum and winter wheat) is projected at 34.1 million metric tonnes. That’s about 1.6 million tonnes lower than last month, likely due to the August heat. However, total wheat production is still estimated to increase 5.6 percent over last year.

Statistics Canada is keeping its canola estimate steady at 19.4 million tonnes. It is based on an average yield estimate of 39.6 bushels an acre, which is well above the 35 bushels an acre estimated in last week’s Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture weekly crop report. Those average yield estimates range from 39 bushels an acre in the northeast to 29 bushels in the southwest.

Neil Townsend, senior market analyst with FarmLink Marketing Solutions, leans towards the Statistics Canada estimates.

“You do get a lot of differentials in production estimates from different entities,” Townsend said. “I think Canada is still sorting it all out to find one or two voices that are benchmarks for the rest of the country.”

Townsend points out at times there can be “too much information” noting the two Statistics Canada estimates were only two weeks apart.

He adds a growing number of satellites will improve picture quality and data in the future, but adds there is no substitution for “boots on the ground” or data collected from farmers. Statistics Canada did not conduct its regular producer survey due to COVID-19.


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