The most recent DTN 360 Poll, where readers have their say, focused on Canadian crop production potential compared to average. Results were almost evenly split between an expectation for below average production (47%) and expectation for average or above-average production, with 41% of responses expecting an average crop and 12% expecting an above-average crop.
By province, roughly one-third of Manitoba responses and 17% of Saskatchewan responses indicated they expected an above-average crop in 2015. Results indicate an expectation for an average crop in one-half of Saskatchewan responses, two-thirds of Manitoba responses and 29% of Alberta responses.
The most common of the four choices was Choice 3, which represents the expectation for a below-average crop. By province, 71% of Alberta responses choose this option as did one-third of Saskatchewan responses. All of Ontario respondents selected this option although this should be viewed as questionable given a low level of responses in this unscientific poll.
Another poll this summer focused on results of the Crop Logistics Working Group (CLWG) and the release of their third and final report which included recommendations for "improving the crop logistics system, including input into the review underway." The question was asked whether this work will lead to the changes required, legislated or otherwise, that would lead to both the timely and efficient movement of grain by rail in the future.
Responses suggest a lack of confidence in the process and recommendations made, with almost two-thirds or 63% suggesting that the issues discussed are decades old, while governments, shippers and railways lack the will to make change. The balance of responses were split somewhat equally between those who felt that the report will lead to the necessary first-steps needed to create change, those who suggested that this work is a good start and may lead to change along with those who are unsure.
One last poll focused on the potential for a shift in agriculture policy given changes in governing parties. The motivation for this came from the NDP party taking the reins in Alberta after more than four decades of Conservative leadership, while the federal election this fall also suggests a tight race which could lead to changes for Canada's governing party.
Of the responses, 15% viewed this as an opportunity, and felt there was always room for improvement. A larger group, however, totaling 71% of responses, felt that a change in agriculture policy given a change in government was a threat to their operation. The balance of responses indicated they were indifferent, having worked through change in the past and willing to do it again.
This week's poll asks what you think of Statistics Canada's July 31 production estimates; have they under or over-estimated the crop? DTN thanks all those who have responded to past polls and look forward to your contributions in the future!
Cliff Jamieson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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