Statistics Canada boosted 2023 canola and wheat production estimates as crops finished better than expected in part of the Prairies.
Crop estimates usually tend to increase in the annual December report, but the numbers for wheat surpassed industry expectations. Timely late summer rains helped revive some crops.
StatsCan estimated all-wheat production at 32 million metric tonnes — compared to the September estimate of 29.8 million tonnes. However, that is still the second smallest wheat crop in six years. Saskatchewan wheat production fell by 6.7 percent to 14.2 million tonnes. Yields were down 12.4 percent to average 37.5 bushels an acre.
Durum production came in at four million tonnes — the second smallest in 13 years. That was a slight reduction from StatsCan’s previous estimate.
Canadian farmers produced 18.3 million tonnes of canola — up 900-thousand tonnes from the previous report, but two percent lower than last year. Saskatchewan canola production was 9.7 million tonnes. That was down only 0.6 percent thanks to an 8.4 percent increase in seeded area. The average canola yield was pegged at 34.8 bushels an acre in Saskatchewan. Manitoba led the way at 43.2 bushels an acre and Alberta with an average canola yield of 37.9 bushels an acre.
Canadian barley production fell nearly 11 percent to 8.9 million tonnes. The average Saskatchewan barley yield was pegged at 57.4 bushels an acre — with production at 3.2 million tonnes. Both numbers were down about nine percent.
Oat production was well behind last year — due to lower yields and seeded area. Canadian oat production was cut in half to 2.6 million tonnes, the smallest crop in more than a decade. In Saskatchewan, oat production fell 60 percent to 1 million tonnes, which worked out to an average of 83.4 bushels an acre.
Moving to the pulses — these are all Saskatchewan-only numbers. The pea crop was 1.3 million tonnes with an average yield of just under 30 bushels an acre. Seeded area and yields were both below normal and it was the same story for lentils. Saskatchewan growers harvested 1.5 million tonnes with and average yield of 1,062 pounds per acre.
Another small flax crop in Saskatchewan at 223-thousand tonnes — down 35 percent. Mustard production was higher due to more seeded area. Mustard production was 13.3 percent higher to just over 130-thousand tonnes. The average yield was 632 pounds per acre.
The final 2023 estimates are based on a survey of 27,200 Canadian farmers, including 7,092 from Saskatchewan. The survey was conducted in the five-week period between October 6th and November 12th.