Canada Markets

A Look at Alberta Crop Yield Estimates

Cliff Jamieson
By  Cliff Jamieson , Canadian Grains Analyst
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The blue bars represent Alberta Agriculture's Aug. 24 dryland yield estimates for select crops, while the brown bars represent Statistics Canada's July model-based estimates. (DTN graphic by Cliff Jamieson)

Like so many things in life, timing is everything. Statistics Canada's recent crop production estimates were based on July model results, while Alberta Agriculture is reporting bi-weekly estimates based on the old-fashioned boots on the ground method. Producers may be ahead of both agencies, with the benefit of yield monitor data as harvest stops and starts between showers. Alberta is chosen for this study as it is the only province reporting an average yield estimate in their bi-weekly crop report.

Past studies have shown that there is a tendency for Statistics Canada final estimates to be higher than Alberta Agriculture's final dryland estimates. On average during the past five years, this difference is roughly 5 bushels per acre (bpa) for spring wheat and barley, 4 bpa for durum, 1 bpa for canola and 0.2 bpa for peas. Statistics Canada's spring wheat yield estimate is higher in all five years from 2016 to 2020, while higher in four of five years for barley and oats, three of five years for canola and two of five for peas.

This week's Statistics Canada estimates based on July models show the oat estimate is 16 bpa higher than the most recent provincial estimate, barley is 10 bpa higher canola is 4.9 bpa higher wheat at 4.4 bpa higher and the dry pea estimate is 1.5 bpa lower. This is a significant spread that represents over 2 mmt of total production of the combined crops, based on Statistics Canada's harvested acre estimates and bears watching in the weeks ahead.

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