In Friday's Alberta Agriculture weekly crop report, the first dryland yield estimates were released for the province for major crops, with spring wheat estimated at 46.4 bushels/acre, durum at 33.3 bpa, barley at 57.6 bpa, canola at 39.1 bpa and dry peas at 37.3 bpa.
As seen on the attached chart, each of these estimates trails their respective four-year average (2014 to 2017) as seen in the comparison of the 2018 estimates (blue bars) with the brown bars, calculated by Statistics Canada's final yield estimates for this period. The widest spread between the current estimates and their respective four-year average final yield is seen in barley at 13 bpa, while canola and peas remain close at 3 bpa and 2.75 bpa, respectively.
The black line with markers represents the average percent change seen in yields between the initial July provincial yield estimate and Statistics Canada's final yield estimates, which is based on producer surveys and includes estimates for irrigated acres in addition to dryland acres. During the four-year period, the Alberta government estimate was higher than the final Statistics Canada estimate only once for durum (in 2017), while in 2014, provincial estimates came in higher than the final Statistics Canada estimates for both canola and peas. In all other cases, final Statistics Canada yield estimates were higher.
As seen by the markers on the black line, measured against the percent scale on the right, the four-year average shows yield estimates for all five crops are reported higher by Statistics Canada, on average ranging from 21.7% higher for spring wheat to just 1% higher for dry peas. Applying this average percent change to the 2018 July estimates released would suggest that the pea crop and the durum crop would fall short of reaching the previous four-year average while other crops would exceed average yields.
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Cliff Jamieson can be reached at email@example.com
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