Perhaps it was no surprise that row crop estimates were revised higher in Thursday's release of Statistics Canada's model-based production estimates. Over the past four years, the model-based approach resulted in an increase of the production estimate for corn each year, ranging from a 400,000 metric ton increase to a 700,000 mt increase, while averaging 625,000 mt. This week's production estimate resulted in a 504,000 mt increase from the recently released survey-based estimates based on July/early August farm surveys to 14.1 million metric tons.
A similar situation is noted for soybean production. Over the past four years, the model-based result was higher in three of four years, ranging from unchanged to 600,000 mt. Over the four years, the average increase from one report to the other was 325,000 mt, which compares to the 281,000 mt increase reported in Thursday's data release to reach a 6.485 mmt crop estimate.
The change seen from the model-based estimates released in September to the final estimates released in December, which may be revised after-the-fact, is less clear. In 2015 and 2016, final estimates were revised higher in December for both corn and soybeans, while in 2017 and 2018, were revised lower. Over the four years, the corn production estimate ranged from 600,000 mt lower to 1 mmt higher in December, averaging 275,000 mt higher. Over the same period, the range of revisions for soybean production ranged from 600,000 mt lower to 600,000 mt higher in December, averaging just 100,000 mt higher.
Two private crop tours have released crop yield estimates for Ontario over recent weeks, with varying results when compared to the official government estimates. Statistics Canada's average corn yield of 162.5 bushels per acre for the province lags the 164 bpa and 173.2 bpa estimates released from the private tours. As well, the official 46.3 bpa Statistics Canada estimate for Ontario soybeans is above the 40.2 bpa and 43.6 bpa estimates released from the private crop tours.
Cliff Jamieson can be reached at email@example.com
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