Canada Markets

Canada's Long-Term Spring Wheat Trends

Cliff Jamieson
By  Cliff Jamieson , Canadian Grains Analyst
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The brown line represents the 30-year linear trend for Canada's spring wheat yield (1990-2019), the blue line represents the 20-year trend (2000-19) and the green line represents the 10-year trend (2010-19). (DTN graphic by Cliff Jamieson)

The Nov. 25 Canada Markets blog pointed out that in 2019, Statistics Canada's estimate for spring wheat production decreased by 0.3% from the August model-based estimate to the final estimate released in December. At the same time, over the past five years, this estimate has been revised higher by an average of 4.1% from August to December, revised higher in three of five years.

Ahead of the Dec. 3 release of the final Statistics Canada estimates, we take one last look at final provincial government estimates and/or text in order to compare with the most recent Statistics Canada estimates, based on August model data.

Alberta Agriculture's last dryland yield estimate of 54.2 bushels per acre compares to Statistics Canada's current 56.1 bpa estimate. Alberta Agriculture's last crop report points to overall yields across all crops 8% above the five-year average, which is equal to 58 bpa for spring wheat. Over the past three years, Statistics Canada's official estimates have averaged 11% higher than Alberta Agriculture's final estimates, with irrigated acres taken into account. This calculation would point to an average yield of 60 bpa.

Statistics Canada's current estimate for Saskatchewan spring wheat is pegged at 47.9 bpa, which is above the 46.4 bpa average calculated based on the provincial government's estimates for hard red spring wheat and for other spring wheat varieties. Both numbers are above the five-year average of 45.7 bpa, while the government's text points to an average crop overall, signaling a potential lower revision for the 8.053 million acres or 45% of the total acreage when Statistics Canada releases estimates on Dec. 3.

Text from the Manitoba government points to average yields for most cereal crops, while the current official estimate of 58.9 bpa is above the five-year average of 56.8 bpa for the province. At the same time, the provincial government's yield ranges for the five regions of the province, with a focus on the mid-point of the range, points to the potential for an average 2020 yield of above 60 bpa.

Statistics Canada's current Canadian average spring wheat yield is pegged at 52.8 bpa. When the trends on the attached chart are extended, the 10-year trend would signal a 54.9 bpa average yield for 2020-21, the 20-year trend points to a yield of 54.3 bpa and the 30-year trend projects forward to a 50.3 bpa yield.

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