Statistics Canada's first release of the Crop Condition Assessment Program shows much of the Prairies have behind-normal crop development, as of the week ending May 29. This is indicated by the tan shading on the attached thematic graphic using satellite-driven data at a one-kilometer resolution.
Report data is produced using feedback from National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) satellites that collects images of the entire earth's surface twice a day at the one-kilometer resolution, as reported in the June 1 report. Normal conditions are based on data taken over the past 29 years.
The furthest behind areas in vegetative growth compared to normal are shown in Manitoba, northeastern and northern and western areas of Saskatchewan as well as northern areas of Alberta. Also, not shown, is delayed vegetative growth seen in Ontario and Quebec.
While it's early and this data will evolve over time, one thing that jumps out is this bird's eye evaluation as compared to more qualitative evaluations stemming from the boots-on-the-ground methodology.
The first comes from Ontario's crop report released June 1 that does spell out the need for rain, especially in the eastern regions of the province, although overall suggests this spring as "one of the best starts to a crop year in a long time."
Thursday's weekly Saskatchewan Crop Report is another example of a favorable report from the ground as compared to signs of a slower start seen by satellite data. As of May 30, planting progress in the province was reported at 94% complete, which compares to the five-year average of 77% and the 10-year average of 80%.
Knock on wood, but there are no significant concerns expressed in this week's crop condition ratings, with all 14 crops rated as 90% Good to Excellent or better. The Good to Excellent rating for spring wheat is reported at 94%, as compared to the 80.5% same-week average over the past four years. The Good to Excellent rating for canola is reported at 90% as of May 30, as compared to the 70.3% average over the past four years (2012 to 2015). Data from 2011 was excluded from this analysis, as delayed seeding resulted in the first conditions ratings released closer to the middle of the month on June 13.
Cliff Jamieson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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