At first look at the attached chart, the Saskatchewan harvest appears right on track as of Oct. 3. Saskatchewan Agriculture reported 80% of the crop harvested as of Oct. 3, close to the 84% complete this same time last year, the five-year average of 86% and the 10-year average of 84%.
Not so, given the blanket of snow covering most of the province on Wednesday, while Public Weather Alerts for the province from Environment Canada continue to indicate snowfall warnings for the west-central region, the northwestern region and the north-eastern area of the province. As much as 50 centimeters or close to 20 inches is expected in some areas, which has led to dangerous road conditions across the province. "This is something you'd expect in January, not October" Environment Canada meteorologist David Phillips told the Canadian Press. The reported accumulation for Saskatoon was the most seen in 100 years for Oct. 5. Highway and airport webcams across the province continue to point to winter-like conditions to almost all areas of the province.
This storm follows an already wet harvest. Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada's 60-day Percent of Average Precipitation map for the Prairie Region (Aug. 7 to Oct. 5) shows all of the province's grain growing area receiving significantly more than average precipitation, with the areas receiving the highest accumulation seeing than 200% of average moisture.
Given current Statistics Canada acreage estimates, Saskatchewan Agriculture yield estimates, along with estimates of the percent of crop harvested, here is a look at what is at stake in the remaining harvest.
Given that 74% of the durum has been harvested in the province, the remaining 26% of Statistics Canada's harvested acreage estimate given Saskatchewan Agriculture's yield estimate would suggest approximately 1.6 million metric tons are yet to be harvested, which represents 21.9% of the total crop estimated for the country.
The spring wheat crop is estimated to be 79% harvested. Given the calculations described above, approximately 1.7 mmt or 8.3% of the country's crop is yet to be harvested in the province. Thursday's report estimates 60% of the province's crop will fall into the two top grades, although this week's weather may weigh on both quality and yield potential, as well as adding to the likelihood that the grain will be harvested at higher moisture levels when activity resumes. This situation will continue to be a supportive feature for the Minneapolis spring wheat market.
With an estimated 77% of the canola crop harvested in the province, roughly 2.2 mmt is yet to be harvested. This represents roughly 12% of the country's total estimated crop. The Canola Council of Canada released a recent article titled Alert: Snow on Canola. What to do? This can be found at www.canolawatch.org. This should remain a supportive feature in the canola market, which reached an eight-day high in Thursday's trade.
Other large volume crops include oats and barley, with roughly 391,000 mt of oats to be harvested or 13.6% of the total Canadian crop and 486,000 mt of barley to come off, or 5.8% of the total Canadian crop.
Cliff Jamieson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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