Spring wheat yields puny in dry Alberta: CWB tour

Lethbridge/Reuters — Spring wheat yields measured less than half of last year’s results in drought-stricken southeastern Alberta, but were on track to set a record high in southern Manitoba, during a Canadian crop tour that saw the results of wildly contrasting weather.

The tour organized by CWB Market Research Services is travelling on three routes across Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba through Thursday. Some areas have suffered the driest conditions in decades.

Yields averaged 23 bushels per acre in an area stretching from north of Calgary to Lethbridge, Alberta, well short of the previous year’s 50 bushels, CWB weather and crop specialist Bruce Burnett said in a report late on Tuesday.

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Further east in Manitoba, where rain has been adequate, spring wheat was in “excellent shape” and yields averaged 69 bushels per acre, close to a record for the route through southern Manitoba to Brandon.

Canola fields also looked impressive there, Burnett said, in contrast to the small, late-developing fields in Alberta.

In Saskatchewan, the biggest wheat- and canola-growing province, crops looked better than expected from Saskatoon to Melfort, Prince Albert and Lloydminster, Burnett said.

Wheat averaged 52 bushels per acre, similar to last year, and canola yields also looked in line with 2014.

Reuters is traveling on the CWB tour route through southeastern Alberta, southwestern and south-central Saskatchewan.

On Wednesday, scouts on that tour will travel through southeastern Alberta and southwestern Saskatchewan, which is known for its durum production.

CWB will on Friday estimate Western Canada yields of canola, spring wheat and durum.

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