The Saskatchewan government's Oct. 5 Crop Report included yield estimates, with an estimated 96% of the crop in the bin, up from the five-year average of 76% complete and the 10-year average of 80%. Progress in the southern two regions has brought harvest to near-completion, while the two northern regions are above the 90% complete mark.
Since the last yield estimates were released one month ago, the provincial government revised estimates in both directions which varied by crop. As well, the provincial estimates vary with respect to their five-year average from crop to crop, as seen on the attached chart with the brown bar compared to the grey bar, which represents five-year average based on Statistics Canada's official estimates.
Given the selected crops shown on the attached graphic, current provincial estimates for canola, oats, durum and winter wheat are below their respective five-year average.
Here are the crops to watch, based on the difference between the provincial estimate and Statistics Canada's estimates:
Canola is the big one. While Saskatchewan Agriculture increased its estimated by 1 bushel per acre or to 36 bpa this month, it remains 3.6 bpa below the model-based estimate released by Statistics Canada based on August data. This yield over the estimated 11.2598 million harvested acres in Saskatchewan amounts to 919,334 metric tons less production than currently forecast.
Saskatchewan Agriculture increased its yield estimate for oats from 83 bpa to an average of 87 bpa, while this remains below average for the province and is 6.1 bpa below Statistics Canada's official estimate. This amounts to roughly 148,000 mt of production across the current harvested acre estimate reported by Statistics Canada.
The province's durum yield estimate was released at 38 bpa, unchanged from the previous month but still 1.9 bpa below the official Statistics Canada estimate. This difference represents 235,000 mt of production that would lead to even tighter stocks in 2020-21 without rationing of demand.
The province increased its estimate for hard red spring wheat yield by 1 bpa this month to 46 bpa, while increasing the yield potential for other varieties of spring wheat by 2 bpa to 51 bpa. Based on the 2019 ratio of HRS harvested acres to total spring wheat harvested acres, this would project to an average spring wheat yield of 46.4 bpa, which is 1.5 bpa below the current official yield estimate of 47.0 bpa for Saskatchewan spring wheat. Across the estimated 7.885 million harvested acres of Saskatchewan spring wheat, this represents a lower production of roughly 322,000 mt from the federal government's official estimate.
One of the crops where the province's estimate is higher than Statistics Canada's official estimate is seen in dry peas. While the province left its estimate unchanged at 39 bpa this month, this is well above the official 34.5 bpa estimate released by Statistics Canada. This 4.5 bpa difference across the harvested acre estimate of 2.275 million acres would lead to increased production of roughly 279,000 mt and potentially lead to growing stocks year-over-year without an increase in exports.
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Cliff Jamieson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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