Crop tour suggests record-large wheat harvest ahead

File photo of an Alberta wheat field. (ImagineGolf/E+/Getty Images)

Winnipeg | Reuters — Canadian farmers are on track to harvest a record-large all-wheat crop, and more canola than last year, due mainly to favourable crop conditions, advisory service FarmLink Marketing Solutions estimated Wednesday.

The Winnipeg-based company’s staff toured western Canadian fields during the last two weeks of July.

“We expected a big crop and we saw a big crop,” said Neil Townsend, FarmLink’s chief market analyst. The wheat crop in particular is an “absolute monster,” he said.

The wheat harvest including durum looks to reach nearly 39 million tonnes, surpassing the current record of 37.6 million, set in 2013.

Pandemic lockdowns caused a surge in demand for bread and pasta, made from wheat.

FarmLink estimated canola production at 20.2 million tonnes, up from 18.6 million last year.

Even so, many canola, pea and lentil crops are behind normal development and need favourable late-summer weather, according to FarmLink. Canola and cereal crops require additional moisture to reach their potential.

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the annual tour chose fields less randomly than usual, focusing on client crops. Scouts drove alone and covered more ground, FarmLink said.

Statistics Canada is scheduled to release the government’s first estimates of crop production on Aug. 31.

— Reporting for Reuters by Rod Nickel in Winnipeg.

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