REGINA — Production of wheat and canola crops is expected to drop this year from 2014 and 2013 levels, thanks to drought-like weather conditions on the Prairies throughout most the growing season, says Statistics Canada.
“Canadian farmers expect wheat and canola production in 2015 to continue to fall from 2013 record levels,” Statistics Canada said in its latest crop report. “Many Alberta and Saskatchewan farmers reported that excessively dry growing conditions were affecting yields and harvestable area,” the report said Friday.
Nationally, total wheat production is expected to fall to 24.6 million tonnes in 2015, down 16 per cent from 2014 and well below the 37.5 million tonne harvest of 2013, the federal agency said. The projected decrease is the result of a lower average yield of 38 bushels per acre in 2015, down 17 per cent from 46 bushels per acre in 2014, and in spite of a 1.7 per cent increase in harvested acreage compared with 2014.
Saskatchewan farmers anticipate wheat production to total 11.2 million tonnes, down 21 per cent from 14.2 million tonnes in 2014, while Alberta farmers expect wheat production to decrease from 2014 to 7.1 million tonnes, the result of a 24 per cent drop in average yield to just under 40 bushels per acre.
In contrast, Manitoba wheat production is expected to rise 18 per cent from 2014 to 4.3 million tonnes, mainly due to a 15 per cent increase in harvested area to 3.2 million acres. Average yield is also expected to rise 2.5 per cent to 50 bushels per acre.
Farmers anticipate producing 13.3 million tonnes of canola in 2015, down 14.2 per cent from 2014, mostly the
result of a 13 per cent decrease in average yield to 30.0 bushels per acre.
In Saskatchewan, canola production is expected to reach 6.7 million tonnes, down 12.4 per cent from 2014, mainly due to a 12 per cent decrease in average yield to 28.4 bushels per acre. Harvested acres will remain virtually the same as last year.
In Alberta, farmers anticipate canola production to fall 27 per cent to 4.0 million tonnes, resulting from a 21.6 per cent decrease in anticipated average yield to 29 bushels per acre, as well as a seven per cent drop in harvested area to 6.0 million acres.
In comparison, Manitoba farmers are expecting canola production to rise 10.3 per cent from 2014 to 2.6 million tonnes due to harvested acres, which are up 5.8 per cent to 3.1 million acres, and average yield, up 4.3 per cent to 36.3 bushels per acre.