Top Crop Manager

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Predicting Canada’s 2020 corn yield potential


January 20, 2020
By Top Crop Manager

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National average corn yield data for 10-, 20- and 30-year periods.

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.

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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.