StatsCan sees corn, soy crops down on the year

Too wet and too hot and dry at different parts of the seasons have hurt the crops

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Poor spring planting conditions followed by hot and dry July weather likely hurt soybean and corn yields in eastern Canada this year, resulting in smaller crops, according to Statistics Canada’s production of principal field crops report, released Wednesday.

Nationally, the Canadian soybean crop is forecast at 6.2 million tonnes, which would be down by one million from the previous year. Of that total, Ontario’s estimated 3.7 million tonne crop would be down by 500,000 tonnes on the year. Average Canadian yields of 40.2 bushels per acre are expected to be down by 5.2 per cent from 2018-19.

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For corn, “poor planting conditions throughout Eastern Canada due to cold and wet conditions caused some farmers to delay planting,” said Statistics Canada. “Ontario and Quebec received considerable heat combined with little rain throughout July, and this may have further affected the corn for grain crop.”

Ontario corn yields are forecast to be down by six per cent on the year, hitting 156.1 bu./ac. However, seeded area was up 4.6 per cent and total production in the province is only forecast to fall by 1.6 per cent, to 8.6 million tonnes.

Total Canadian corn production for 2019-20 is forecast at 13.6 million tonnes, which compares with 13.9 million the previous year.

Elsewhere in the country the production of principal field crops report was “bang on with expectations across the board,” according to Ken Ball of PI Financial in Winnipeg.

While both the canola and total wheat forecasts were at the lower end of market estimates and slightly supportive for prices, he said the Statistics Canada survey was conducted in July and didn’t reflect improved crop conditions in August.

Ball expected most crops would see upward revisions of three to five per cent in subsequent reports, with canola likely hitting 19 million tonnes and spring wheat 25.6 million.

“I suspect the canola crop has improved,” said analyst Mike Jubinville of MarketsFarm Pro. However, he added that development is running behind normal and still needs good harvest conditions in the northern growing regions to meet the expectations.

Barley production was estimated at 9.645 million tonnes by Statistics Canada, which was up by about 1.3 million tonnes from the previous year. The larger crop was not a surprise, with new-crop bids already under pressure compared to the tight old-crop barley market, said Jubinville.

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