Perhaps it is difficult to avoid comparisons between the current harvest and the challenges faced in 2016. During that fall's harvest, an estimated 80% of Saskatchewan's harvest was complete as of Oct. 3, while the harvest completed as of Oct. 10 inched higher to 81%, was estimated at 81% as of Oct. 17 and 82% as of Oct. 24. An estimated 95% of the crop was reported harvested as of the final report released on Nov. 21. That year, an estimated 52% of the spring wheat production fell in the top two grades, down from the 10-year average of 75%.
This week's provincial crop report shows a modest gain in the crop harvested, with an estimated 68% of the total crop harvested as of Sept. 24, up from 62% the previous week and 58% reported two weeks ago. While this remains ahead of the five-year average of 64% complete and the 10-year average at 62%, weather conditions remains cold and damp in many areas and will continue to hamper progress.
The attached chart shows an estimate for crop volume yet to be harvested, based on Statistics Canada and Saskatchewan Agriculture estimates (blue bars) along with the percentage this represents of the country's total estimated production, as shown by the brown line with markers plotted against the secondary vertical axis.
As reported by Saskatchewan Agriculture, 53% of the spring wheat and 48% of the canola is estimated to be harvested as of Sept. 24, which points to an estimated 4.3 million metric tons of spring wheat (18.6%) yet to be harvested and 5.9 mmt of canola (27.9%) to be harvested. This is shown by the blue bars on the graphic, with the percentage of the country's total estimated production in brackets.
On a percentage basis, the 296,000 metric tons of flax yet to be harvested represents approximately 58% of the estimate for the country's total flax crop, while roughly 25% of the country's oats are yet to be harvested in Saskatchewan representing roughly 841,350 mt.
Harvest delays will become more apparent when Alberta's data is looked at following Friday's weekly crop report release.
Cliff Jamieson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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