Canada Markets

A First Look at Saskatchewan Crop Condition Ratings

Cliff Jamieson
By  Cliff Jamieson , Canadian Grains Analyst
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Saskatchewan Agriculture's first crop condition estimates show a slow start, as of May 28, although improvement may be noted since the report release. The crop condition index for the 2018 winter wheat crop (blue bar) rivals 2017 (red bar) and exceeds the five-year average (green bar), while all other crops selected are trailing the index reported for the same period last year as well as the five-year average. (DTN graphic by Cliff Jamieson)

Saskatchewan Agriculture's weekly crop report shows that an estimated 91% of the crop is seeded as of May 28, up 21 points over the past week. This pace is 10 points ahead of the pace realized last year as well as 10 points above the five-year average. Progress ranges from 93% complete in the Southeast Region and 95% in the Southwest Region, to 86% in the East Central Region and 87% in the Northeast Region.

The East Central Region reports crops beginning to emerge, the Southwest Region views emerged crops as Fair to Good while the other four regions describe emerged crops ranging from Poor to Good. Emergence in many areas is described as slow and patchy, while a lack of precipitation, hot and dry winds and reports of some hail over the week have taken a toll. AAFC's precipitation maps point to a growing area of the province that has realized 60 to 85% of average precipitation between April 1 and May 30, an improvement over time, although still below average.

Based on the first crop conditions released around this time each year, the calculated crop condition index ratings are the lowest in three years for most of the crops selected, although the condition rating for soybeans is the lowest seen in the four years that data has been reported by the government. DTN's methodology for calculating the crop condition index (CCI) is show as:

% Excellent x 3 + % Good x 2 + % Fair x 1 - % Poor x 1 - % Very Poor x 2 = CGI

This leads to indices that range from 126 for soybeans to 196 for winter wheat. Of the 10 crops selected, five are in the 170-179 range, while all 10 range from 5 points to 71 points below this time last year, averaging 26.4 points lower. All are below their respective five-year average, with the first data released between May 29 and June 3, except for winter wheat, which is rated higher than average.

This week's cooler weather and widespread rain will result in improving conditions moving forward. At the time of writing, showers and thunderstorms seem likely across southwestern Saskatchewan as well as another system over southeastern Saskatchewan, according to radar. The seven-day trend suggests there is more to follow, to favor the eastern side of the province.

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

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