Record Canadian Wetness Causing Crop Losses?

11/07/14 -- Is this the bullish catalyst that growers have been looking for? Here's an extract from a report from my lovely US weather market analyst Gail Martell:

Widespread flooding in Saskatchewan and Manitoba has claimed a portion of the wheat crop, though exactly how much wheat has been lost is not clear. Flood damage may be worse than 2010, when 14% of the wheat crop was lost with less-extreme flooding.

Statistics Canada had originally predicted a 7.4% decrease in the wheat planted area, year over year, but this survey was conducted in mid June before widespread flooding developed. Excessively heavy rainfall of 100-150 mm developed during the last week of June.

Up to 260 mm of rain occurred in eastern Saskatchewan and western Manitoba, submerging crops, washing out roads and forcing hundreds of people to leave their homes, says Rod Nickel, reporting for the Reuters News agency. Last year's bumper grain harvest meant a very significant amount of grain was still in storage bins on the farm, and subject to flooding. Damage inside grain bins was in addition to widespread farmland flooding.

Around 71.75 million acres of crops were planted, all together, based on the June survey from Statistics Canada before the flood. Larry Weber at Weber Commodities in Canada, a DTN affiliate, predicts 6 million acres of crops may have been killed by flooding. Another 2.1 million acres weren't planted at all, due to bad weather, he predicts.

Wheat is the main crop produced in Canada making up 34% of all grains. Canola is the second most important crop with a 28% share of the grain harvest. Barley and soybeans were also flooded, although these crops are only one-fourth as large as the wheat crop.

While nobody knows for sure how badly grains were damaged, agronomists have weighed in on the issue. Most plants can tolerate a couple of days of flooding during the growing season, but for some plants, a week or more of flooding can cause severe injury and death, according to Nathan Mueller, South Dakota State University Extension agronomist.

The 2010 growing season was similarly wet, though the 2010 flood was in western Saskatchewan and eastern Alberta. Twice normal rainfall developed April to June. That compares to record flooding this season.

Producers were not able to get their wheat all planted, contributing to a 24% reduction in the wheat area sown. The wheat yields were rather good, near average, but a sharp reduction in the planted area drove production down. In the end the 2010 wheat harvest was 23.3 million metric tons and 14% less than the previous year.