With Statistics Canada's Production of Principal Field Crops report set for release on Friday, Aug. 31, based on July surveys, we look back at how the data released over the past five years for a number of selected crops compare to Statistics Canada's final production estimates, including revisions.
Percent change calculations indicate that Statistics Canada estimates almost always point to larger final estimates than those based on July estimates that are reported in August. Of the selected crops, the final estimates were lower than the July estimates in only three instances over the past five years, with a marginal drop in the estimates reported for barley in 2014, a marginal decline for lentils reported in 2016 and a modest drop for soybeans in 2017.
On average, the final estimates are higher than the July preliminary estimates for all of the selected crops, ranging from an average 7.4% for both corn and soybeans (blue bars) to the highest average percent change of 22.8% for canola. The second highest was durum, where final estimates average 18.8% higher than the preliminary estimate over the five years while lentil production averaged 15.8% higher.
As seen on the attached chart, the brown line represents the highest percent change from the July estimate to the final estimate for each crop over the five years, while the black line with markers represents the lowest percent change calculated. The highest point shown on the chart is a 43.8% change from the July estimate to final estimate for lentils in 2013. The lowest point marked on the black line represents the 1.2% decline in production estimates seen for lentils in 2016. The widest range of results, measured as the distance between the two lines, is seen for lentils at a distance of 45 points, while estimates for the corn crop show the least variability with a range of 10.9 points.
The current year could be one that defies all trends, given deteriorating crop conditions due to hot and dry weather experienced over the July period when the survey was conducted while this trend continued into August.
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Cliff Jamieson can be reached at email@example.com
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