Canada Markets

A Look at Saskatchewan's Final Crop Report

Cliff Jamieson
By  Cliff Jamieson , Canadian Grains Analyst
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The blue bars represent estimates for acres yet to be harvested in Saskatchewan as of the Nov. 21 Final Crop Report for selected crops, measured against the primary vertical axis. The brown line represents the estimated production these acres represent, measured against the secondary vertical axis. (DTN graphic by Cliff Jamieson)

The Saskatchewan government estimates 93% of the province's crop has been harvested as of Nov. 18, as indicated in the province's Final Crop Report for 2019. This is up a mere 3% from the estimated area harvested in the previous crop report as of Oct. 28. Producers picked away at unharvested crops over recent weeks, taking off an additional 2% of the spring wheat, 6% of the durum, 4% of the oat acres, 3% of the barley acres, 3% of the canola acres and 14% of the soybean acres over this period.

The attached graphic estimates the outstanding acres (blue bars) and metric tons (brown line with markers) for selected crops, based on Statistics Canada's harvested acre estimates, Saskatchewan Agriculture's estimates for harvested acres as of Nov. 18 and Saskatchewan Agriculture's yield estimates.

As of this report, an estimated 9% of the canola acres remain unharvested, which totals just over 1 million acres that projects to roughly 847,000 mt. This accounts for roughly 5% of Statistics Canada's harvested acre estimate for the country, while roughly 4.4% of Statistics Canada's national production estimate released in September. Note that all estimates will be updated by Statistics Canada on Dec. 6.

An estimated 94% of the spring wheat acres are estimated off as of Nov. 18, which would indicate roughly 516,870 acres or 2.8% of the national total. This would equate to roughly 640,000 mt based on Saskatchewan's yield estimates or 2.5% of the national production estimate.

The seven-day DTN weather model points to relatively light precipitation for the Prairies, while DTN's 5-Day Highs Compared to Normal chart shows most of the Prairies expected to see highs range from 4-6 degrees Celsius above normal which may help dry crops and allow further progress.

The provincial government's yield estimates vary around Statistics Canada estimates, which are due to be updated on Dec. 6. Barley is estimated at 66 bushels per acre (64.3 bpa), canola at 38 bpa (40.1), oats at 88 bpa (91.7), with the official Statistics Canada estimate in brackets. One crop that bears watching is lentils, with the province estimating production at 1,392 lbs/acre, down from Statistics Canada's 1,525 lb/acre estimate, a differential that could shave roughly 200,000 mt from the official estimates released earlier. Other major crops show yield estimates closely tracking official estimates.

Provincial quality estimates are indicating that quality is below average for almost all crops. An estimated 48% of the spring wheat is estimated in the top two grades, which is well-below the 67.6% of samples from Saskatchewan in the Canadian Grain Commission's harvest sample program grading in the top two grades. The Canadian Grain Commission report indicates that samples graded do not accurately reflect production distributions across grades, while the latest CGC analysis was released Nov. 12 and does not include samples submitted in the two weeks prior to this date. The current estimate from the government is well below the 10-year average of 72% of the crop falling in the top two grades.

The Saskatchewan analysis estimates that 38% of the durum (58%), 71% of the oats (76%), 89% of the canola (95%), 67% of the lentils (72%) and 88% of the peas (89%) are landing in the top two grades, with the 10-year average in brackets. Estimated grades would make the wheat crop the lowest quality in nine years and the durum crop would be the lowest estimated quality in three years.

An estimated 18% of the barley crop is viewed as reaching malt quality, well below the 10-year average of 31% and also the lowest estimated percentage in nine years. This could lead to hardship for maltsters while feed users will welcome this news.

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Cliff Jamieson can be reached at cliff.jamieson@dtn.com

Follow him on Twitter @CliffJamieson

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