As of Oct. 1, the Saskatchewan government estimates that 73% of the crop is off, up 5 percentage points over the past week while making this past week the first week with the harvest pace falling behind the five-year average.
Saskatchewan Agriculture released yield estimates as of Oct. 1, the first boots-on-the-ground estimates shown since Aug. 27, when 27% of the harvest was reported complete. Of selected crops looked at, a number of crops show higher yield estimates that reported in August. Some exceptions include peas (3 bushels per acre), winter wheat (5 bpa) and mustard (92 pounds/acre), with downward revisions shown in brackets.
Of the crops with upward revisions seen in provincial average yield estimates, barley, canola, durum and spring wheat were all revised 4 bpa higher and oats were revised 5 bpa higher. The provincial average chickpea yield was revised 334 lbs/acre higher at 1,234 lbs/acre as of Oct. 1.
As seen on the attached graphic, when the Oct. 1 provincial estimates (brown bars) are compared with the most recent model-based Statistics Canada estimates (blue bars), results vary. Of the crops selected, the graphic shows that the provincial government has estimated yields higher for barley (1 bpa), peas (.9 bpa), spring wheat (1.6 bpa) and winter wheat (2.6 bpa) with the differential in brackets. Both canola and soybeans were estimated lower than the official Statistics Canada estimates as of Oct. 1, with canola estimated at 37 bpa, 3.8 bpa below Statistics Canada, while soybean yields are estimated to average at 24 bpa, down 3.4 bpa from the official estimate.
The largest surprise could be the oat crop, with Saskatchewan Agriculture estimating oats at 82 bpa, or 9.5 bpa below Statistics Canada's 91.5 bpa estimate.
When compared to the official five-year average yield from Statistics Canada data (grey bars), the latest estimates would suggest that the average yield for dry peas and hard red spring wheat could reach average levels, while other crops are expected to come in below average.
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