Data from Statistics Canada shows that the 2019 national average corn yield reported was 147.2 bushels per acre (BPA), down 5.8 per cent from the five-year average and the lowest estimated yield in seven years.
Average yields were down in all major Canadian growing areas: Quebec’s provincial average yield is estimated at 141.4 BPA, which is 8.8 per cent below the five-year average; Ontario’s yield is 3.3 per cent down from the province’s five-year average at 158.4 BPA; and Manitoba yield, at 109.7 BPA, is 9.5 per cent lower than the provincial five-year average.
The 2019 national yield falls well below the 10-, 20- and 30-year linear yield trends – by almost 10 to 20 BPA for the 10- and 20-year trends respectively. With the many difficulties faced in 2019 for corn production, it’s not surprising that the BPA average is down from historical trends.
Looking ahead to 2020, the historical trends all show yields increasing within a range of approximately 10 BPA. The 30-year trend shows yields increasing by 2.1 BPA annually, which would put 2020’s average yield at 162.2 BPA – close to the current record national average yield of 162.6 BPA achieved in 2015. The 20-year trend predicts a prospective yield of 166.8 BPA, in line with its accretion rate of 2.6 BPA annually. The 10-year trend is the least optimistic, predicting a 2020 national average yield of 156.1 BPA based on the linear yield trend increasing at 0.7 BPA.
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s first forecasts for 2020-21 are due to be released in January.