StatsCan adjusts expected corn, soy harvests upward

Satellite models predict higher yields on fewer acres

(Sakakawea7/iStock/Getty Images)

Statistics Canada’s latest batch of satellite-modelled crop data includes slightly raised expectations for Canadian corn and soybean harvests this fall.

StatsCan on Monday released model-based principal field crop estimates for the period ending Aug. 31, suggesting higher soy and corn numbers than seen in its Production of principal field crops report released Aug. 31, which used information up to the end of July.

Monday’s estimates peg grain corn production across Canada in 2020 at 14 million tonnes, which would be up 4.7 per cent from 2019 — and up from 13.9 million in the Aug. 31 report.

The new estimates also put soybean production across Canada in 2020 at 6.1 million tonnes, up 1.5 per cent from 2019 and up from six million in the Aug. 31 report.


Nationally, StatsCan expects an increase in corn yield (159.4 bushels per acre, up 8.3 per cent from 2019) to offset lower harvested area (3.5 million acres, down 3.4 per cent).

Ontario corn production is expected to increase to 8.8 million tonnes, up 1.8 per cent from 2019, on higher harvested area (2.2 million acres, up 0.3 per cent) and yields (160.8 bu./ac., up 1.5 per cent). The Aug. 31 report put Ontario corn production at 8.7 million tonnes.

Quebec corn output is expected up 8.8 per cent at 3.7 million tonnes — unchanged from the Aug. 31 report — with yields up 15.3 per cent at 163.1 bu./ac. and harvested area down 5.7 per cent at 885,000 acres.

Monday’s report has Manitoba expected to produce 1.346 million tonnes of corn in 2020, while Alberta is expected to produce 97,100 tonnes, up from 1.32 million and 92,400 in the Aug. 31 report and up from 1.19 million and 63,300 in 2019. Corn data for Saskatchewan for 2020 is “not available for a specific reference period.”


Monday’s national numbers for soybean production are based on lower harvested area (4.9 million acres, down 12.5 per cent from 2019) and yields up 15.9 per cent at 45.9 bu./ac.

Ontario soybean production in Monday’s report is projected at 3.7 million tonnes, flat from 2019 but up from 3.6 million tonnes in the Aug. 31 report. Ontario’s harvested soybean area is now expected at 2.8 million acres, down eight per cent from 2019, while yield is expected at 48 bushels per acre, up 8.8 per cent.

In Manitoba, soybean production is projected to increase 4.6 per cent from 2019 to 1.2 million tonnes in 2020, roughly flat from the Aug. 31 report, with harvested area down 19.7 per cent at 1.1 million acres and yields up 30.1 per cent at 38 bu./ac., up from 37.3 in the Aug. 31 report.

Manitoba farmers are believed to have cut their planted area in 2020 following “several years of lower yields due to dry conditions.” Soybean numbers from Saskatchewan or Alberta were also “not available for a specific reference period” in Monday’s report.

Monday’s numbers from Quebec show soybean production up 14.2 per cent at 1.2 million tonnes in 2020, also roughly flat from the Aug. 31 report. Yields are expected to be up 16.9 per cent from 2019 at 49.8 bu./ac. and a 2.4 per cent decrease in harvested area.

Farmers on parts of the Prairies “have had to contend with excessive rain and lower than average temperatures in the early part of the summer and above average temperatures in August, while it has been hot and dry throughout southern Ontario and the Maritimes,” StatsCan said Monday.

Monday’s data also indicate overall plant health in the Prairie provinces was “equal to or much higher than normal for most of the region” while plant health in Eastern Canada is, for the most part, “average, likely due in part to the lack of rain.” — Glacier FarmMedia Network

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