Stats Canada projects decreased production due to dry conditions in Western Canada
September 6, 2023 By Top Crop Manager
Statistics Canada says Canadian farmers will produce more corn for grain and soybeans in 2023, but less wheat, canola, barley and oats, compared with 2022, according to recent yield model estimates using satellite imagery and agroclimatic data.
Decreased production for most crops was driven by lower yields because of dry conditions in Western Canada.
Across much of the Prairies, lower-than-average precipitation and high temperatures have resulted in poorer crop conditions than in 2022. In Alberta, provincial reports indicated that less than half (43.1 per cent) of the total crop was rated as being in good to excellent condition at the end of July, well below the five-year average of 60.2 per cent. In Saskatchewan, dry conditions continue to be a concern, most notably in the southwest and west-central regions. Provincial reports from Manitoba indicated that crop conditions in the province were generally good.
Nationally, canola production is expected to fall by 6.1 per cent to 17.6 million tonnes in 2023. The anticipated decrease in production is due to lower yields, which are expected to fall 8.8 per cent to 35.4 bushels per acre, while harvested area is expected to increase three per cent to 21.9 million acres.
Saskatchewan is expected to produce 6.3 per cent less canola in 2023 than in 2022, at 9.1 million tonnes. Yields are projected to decrease by 13.9 per cent to 32.7 bushels per acre, while harvested area is expected to rise by 8.7 per cent to 12.3 million acres.
Canola production in Alberta is expected to decrease by 1.2 per cent to 5.5 million tonnes. The decrease is the result of lower anticipated harvested area (-3 per cent to 6.3 million acres), offsetting an expected 1.8 per cent increase in yield to 38.8 bushels per acre.
In Manitoba, yields are expected to decrease 9.5 per cent to 39.2 bushels per acre, while harvested area is anticipated to fall 4.1 per cent to 3.1 million acres, resulting in a 13.3 per cent production decrease to 2.7 million tonnes.
Nationally, soybean production is projected to increase by 2.9 per cent year over year to 6.7 million tonnes in 2023. Yields are expected to fall by 3.5 per cent to 44.3 bushels per acre, while harvested area is anticipated to increase by 6.8 per cent to 5.6 million acres.
In Manitoba, soybean production is projected to increase by 4.5 per cent to 1.4 million tonnes in 2023. Harvested area is projected to increase by 39.8 per cent to 1.6 million acres. However, yields are projected to fall by 25.3 per cent year-over-year to 32.1 bushels per acre, likely because of moisture conditions.
Barley and oat
Lower barley yields (-21.4 per cent to 55.3 bushels per acre) in 2023, compared with 2022, are projected to more than offset higher anticipated harvested area (+1 per cent to 6.6 million acres). As a result, barley production is expected to fall by 20.7 per cent year-over-year to 7.9 million tonnes in 2023.
Oat production is projected to fall by 53.5 per cent to 2.4 million tonnes, the lowest production in more than a decade. The decrease is attributable to lower harvested area, which is expected to fall by 40.9 per cent to two million acres, and lower yields, which are expected to fall by 21.4 per cent year-over-year to 76.9 bushels per acre in 2023.
Statistics Canada has relied on satellite technology and agroclimatic data to model preliminary crop yields and production for several years. These methods have been used to produce modelled estimates since 2016. Final harvested area estimates based on the November 2023 Field Crop Survey will be published Dec. 4.