Alberta's weekly crop report held the overall crop-condition rating for the province steady at 82.8% Good to Excellent as of Aug. 2. This is.3% higher than the previous week.
This also compares to the 28.9% Good to Excellent rating reported the same time last year and the five-year average of 69.9%.
The positive rating is despite the dryness that plagued the central and southern areas of the province earlier in the spring/summer. There is also possible record numbers of hail claims and excessive moisture in several areas. Looking across the five crops reported in this week's abbreviated report, the crop condition ranges from 78.9% Good to Excellent for dry peas to 89.8% for oats.
Last week, the government released preliminary yield estimates of 70.9 bushels per acre for barley, 41.4 bpa for canola, 85.6 bpa for oats, 44 bpa for peas, 44.8 bpa for durum and 50.5 bpa for spring wheat (dryland yields).
The attached chart shows the resulting Alberta production based on current Statistics Canada seeded acre estimates and the historical seeded acre/harvested acre five-year average. The resulting production estimate for 2016 (red bars) are compared to the previous year (blue bars) and the five-year average (green bars).
Given this data, spring wheat and canola production in the province will remain close to steady from 2015 while will be below their five-year averages at 7.255 million metric tons and 5.440 mmt, respectively. In both crops, the year-over-year drop in seeded acres are expected to be offset by higher yields, while production lags the five-year average, given the lower acres seeded this year when compared to average.
Given the six crops reported, the largest year-over-year increase in estimated production is seen in oats, peas and durum. Acres seeded to oats are estimated to reach a five-year high of 720,000 acres, while the estimated 85.6 bpa could be the second highest on record next to the 95.1 bpa achieved in 2013. Current data points to a 608,510 mt crop.
Dry pea areas are expected to reach a record 1.860 million acres, while yield is estimated well-above last year and the five-year average. Current data suggests that dry pea production could reach 2.2 mmt, up 67% from 2015 and 80% higher than the five-year average.
At 1.326 mmt, durum production could reach 62% higher than 2015, while also well-above the five-year average. Seeded acreage in the province is estimated at 1.1 million acres, an area seeded not seen since 2002. The current yield estimate of 44.8 bpa would represent a sharp recovery from the 37.3 bpa realized in 2015.
Estimated barley production is 4.4 mmt, a slight recovery from the previous year, given a combination of lower acres planted and higher expected yield, although remains below the five-year average due to the decline in acres seeded.
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Cliff Jamieson can be reached at email@example.com
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