Canadian Crop Conditions

The word on the streets filtering through from assorted incoming emails from contacts in Canada suggests that, for once, crop conditions really are as bad as the media are making out.

Saskatchewan is the worst affected province, and also the one that grows more than half the nation's wheat. Saskatchewan Agriculture's weekly Crop Report (here), released yesterday afternoon, says that only 76% of the 2010 crop has been sown so far. That's an advance of only three percentage points from a week previously.

The north east is the worst affected region, with only half the intended area in the ground. Here 87% of spring sown cereals and 88% of oilseeds are also lagging in maturity. Over half the winter wheat and spring wheat crops are rated as poor/very poor, together with 43% of canola.

Brad Eggum reports of "scenes of devastation that showed a broad sweep of the province from the south west corner (which is usually quite desert like by now) in an arc to the north east. It would not be hard to believe that 1 acre in 3 would be underwater from what I viewed. Not to mention the acres through these areas that did not get sown."

Whilst things are better in Brad's locality in the south east, "the organic market had best perk their ears up as likely not more that 40% of intended organic acres made it in the ground, as they attempt to sow later for weed control. And 40% may be generous," he warns.

It seems pretty clear that quality as well as yields are likely to be serious issues in Canada this season. The lateness of plantings also creates potential vulnerability problems should winter arrive early this year.

Canada are the largest exporter of rapeseed in the world, typically accounting for around two thirds of all international trade. They also lead the world in the export of oats and are third in the global wheat export table.

You can view a map of where Canadian spring wheat is planted here.