Aug. 21 (Bloomberg) -- Canadian farmers may harvest the most wheat in 22 years and produce the biggest canola crop on record, according to a government survey.
All-wheat production will probably expand to 30.6 million metric tons, up 12.9 percent from 27.1 million tons in 2012, Statistics Canada said today from Ottawa. Wheat production is forecast to be the highest since 1991 when farmers produced 31.9 million tons. The average production estimate of 10 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg News was just below 30 million tons.
The canola harvest in Canada, the world’s largest grower, may climb 11.5 percent to 14.7 million tons, up from 13.2 million tons in 2012 and exceeding the record output of 14.6 million tons in 2011, according to the report. Analysts in a Bloomberg survey forecast 15.4 million tons.
Statistics Canada said it interviewed about 15,000 farmers between July 24 and Aug. 5. The estimate excludes production in British Columbia and Canada’s Atlantic provinces, which accounts for 2 to 4 percent of output, Statistics Canada said. Production data for previous years was revised to exclude output from those areas.
Growing conditions have “improved and the threat of frost is really out of the forecast,” Tony Tryhuk, branch manager for RBC Dominion Securities commodity futures trading division, said in a telephone interview from Winnipeg before the report.
While planting in many parts of Western Canada was delayed this spring by excess moisture and cool temperatures, farmers managed to sow most of their crop by mid-June, according to reports from Alberta, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan. Warm, wet weather across the Canadian Prairies in the last half of June and early July boosted prospects for higher canola yields, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada said in a July 17 report and Alberta’s agriculture ministry estimated yields could rise as much as 20 percent above average.
Today’s government estimate does not fully show the yield potential, Ken Ball, senior commodities futures adviser for PI Financial in Winnipeg, said in an e-mailed statement before the report. Many crops were slow to develop and canola fields that were still in full flower in late July may now produce 60-70 bushels an acre, he said.
“A lot of crops were late and assessing yield at that stage involved a little more guesswork than it does now,” Ball said.
Cooler temperatures in early August put crop development 10 days to two weeks behind normal in many areas, Saskatchewan’s agriculture ministry said Aug. 15. Warm weather helped to advance crops last week and spring wheat yields in Saskatchewan, the largest producer, may range between 33 and 38 bushels an acre in the south and as much as 41 bushels in the north, according to provincial estimates.
Wheat futures on the Minneapolis Grain Exchange fell 15 percent this year through yesterday, and canola prices declined 14 percent on ICE Futures Canada in Winnipeg.
--Editor: Paul Badertscher