Monday, August 30, 2021

Drought hammers Prairie wheat, canola

The Canadian Prairies are facing prospects that the wheat harvest will be the least in 14 years and canola crops have withered in drought and heat.

The drought pushed up wheat prices and canola prices have hit record highs.

Statistics Canada reported in its current estimate that the all-wheat harvest will total about 22.9 million tonnes, 35 per cent less  than last year and slightly larger than the average trade expectation of 22.6 million tonnes. 

The canola harvest is estimated at 14.7 million tonnes,  24 per cent less than last year and also larger than the average trade forecast of 14.1 million tonnes.

Brian Voth, president of IntelliFARM, a farmer advisory service, said canola importers may turn to Ukraine, western Europe and Australia for substitutes, while U.S. mills that depend on Canadian wheat to produce flour may need to blend in wheat from other countries.

Harvests are small, but not as tiny as some expected, Voth said, adding that some of his farmer clients in Manitoba produced better yields than they expected.