Last week we referred to DTN Contributing Analyst Joe Karlin's Fundamentally Speaking blog titled "July 1 Spring Wheat Rating no Guarantee of Yields." The findings are evident given the title, with Karlin concluding, "Very good conditions at the beginning of July are no guarantee of stellar final yields nor does a lackluster July 1 rating mean all is lost." Karlin notes that the spring wheat crop is in the middle of its heading and head-filling stage, while one could add that canola is flowering.
As seen on the attached chart, over the last five years, the late-June/early July crop condition rating assessed by Alberta Agriculture for the five-year period from 2013 through 2017 saw the crop condition for wheat range from 30% to 86.2% good to excellent. In the case of spring wheat, the lowest crop rating of 30% good to excellent as of July 7, 2015, did also lead to the lowest final Statistics Canada yield estimated over this period of 46.9 bushels per acre. At the same time, the highest spring wheat crop rating of 86.2% of July 2, 2013, led to a final yield estimate for the province of 58.5 bpa, which was not the highest yield reported over this period, although was close.
Interestingly, the lowest canola rating over the five-year period was reported at 21.4% good to excellent on July 7, 2015, which resulted in a final average yield of 41.4 bpa. This yield was higher than the year prior when the crop was rated at 81.2% good to excellent in the June 30 report, which resulted in an average final yield of 37.8 bpa. This was the lowest estimated yield seen over the five-year period. The highest condition rating was seen in the July 2, 2013, of 83.1 bpa, which led to a final estimated Alberta yield of 43.1 bpa, or 2.3 bpa lower than the highest yield achieved over this period that was realized three years later in 2016.
As of July 3, Alberta's spring wheat crop condition was rated at 79.2% (71.8%) good to excellent while the canola crop was rated at 76.2% (68.2%) good to excellent, with the five-year average in brackets. Final yields, however, will be more closely tied to a combination of heat and moisture received over the balance of the summer.
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Cliff Jamieson can be reached at email@example.com
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