Canada Markets

A Look at Saskatchewan Crop Ratings

Cliff Jamieson
By  Cliff Jamieson , Canadian Grains Analyst
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As of July 11, the crop condition index calculated for Saskatchewan crops remains well above last year and the five-year average. As seen on this chart, the index calculated for the lentil crop faced a sharp reduction in the first half of July. (DTN graphic by Nick Scalise)

Saskatchewan's weekly crop report as of July 11 shows the crop to remain well ahead of normal growth stages. Estimates show that 47% of the fall cereals (34%), 26% of the spring cereals (17%), 26% of the oilseeds (13%) and 27% of the pulse crops (22%) are ahead of normal growth stages, with year-ago data in brackets for comparison.

Most areas of the province received at least 2 inches of moisture over the past weekend, with some areas receiving as much as 4 inches. Heavy rains have hit many areas since. Across the province, 33% is rated as having surplus topsoil moisture, up from 9% last week, while 66% of the province is rated as having adequate moisture.

Agriculture Canada's Percent of Average Precipitation chart as of July 11 shows the cropland to range from 85% to 115% of average rainfall to an area which has ranged from 150 to 200% of normal between April 1 and July 11, while the highest accumulations in the south in the April 1 through July 13 period are as high as 300 mm to 350 mm (11.8 inches to 13.8 inches) as shown in the Swift Current/Gravelbourg region and the south-east area around Estevan.

Despite the deluge of moisture, crop ratings reported by the government continue to hold well above last year and their respective five-year averages, although more rain has been received since Monday's report and the extent of the damage due excessive moisture is still yet to be realized.

The condition ratings as of July 11 showed cereals rated mostly steady from the previous rating on June 27. The crop condition index (CCI) for spring wheat is calculated at 222, up four points from June 27 and well above the same week last year of 124 and the five-year average of 177. The index is calculated by multiplying the percent rated excellent by a factor of 3, the percent rated good by a factor of 2, the percent rated fair by a factor of 1, the percent rated poor by a factor of -1 and the percent rated very poor by a factor of -2. This is the highest rating seen so far this year.

The CCI for durum is calculated at 237, down just 1 point from June 27. This is well above the same week last year at 57 points and the five-year average of 167.2. As of July 11, the CCI for both oats and durum increased by 18 and 9 points respectively from the previous ratings to 215, both the highest ratings seen this season for these crops. The oat rating of 215 compares to the same week last year of 152 and the five-year average of 177.2. The barley CCI of 215 compares to a CCI of 120 this time last year and a five-year average of 171.4.

July 11 oilseed ratings show the crops of canola, soybeans and flax to show favourable ratings, with the canola CCI improving by 9 points and the flax CCI improving 13 points since the end of June. The canola CCI is calculated at 217, well above the 104 reported this time last year and the five-year average of 156. The 217 also represents the highest rating seen so far this season for this crop. The soybean index fell by 2 points but remains high at 210 as compared to 139 this time last year and a two-year average for this week at 155.

As discussed in Wednesday's Canada Markets Blog, the lentil crop has shown signs of deterioration and further damage may appear in the upcoming weeks with increased disease, lost acres due to excessive moisture and a lack of podding due to the wet conditions. The very first CCI for the crop was calculated at 232 as of May 30, fell to 221 two weeks later, up to 229 by June 27 and fell sharply by 29 points to 200 as of July 11. This compares to the CCI of 98 on July 13, 2015, due to dry conditions and remains well above the five-year average for this week of 167.8.

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