Winter Wheat Outlook Improves

Decent growing weather over the past couple of weeks has helped winter wheat crops in Western Canada catch up in their development, but a late harvest is expected and disease is also causing problems in some areas, said an official with the Canadian Wheat Board.

Most winter wheat is now in the heading stage, with some of the furthest-along fields starting to turn colour, said Bruce Burnett, director of weather and market analysis with the CWB. Recent warm, dry weather that allowed winter wheat to speed up its development helped, but “it won’t be an early year for winter wheat,” said Burnett. Harvest is likely at least a month away, he said.

Western Canadian farmers planted 565,000 acres of winter wheat last fall, a drop of 40,000 acres from one year earlier. Burnett said flooding this spring likely led to some further abandonment, “but yield potential is looking good.”

Wet weather followed by humidity is leading to some disease concerns in the eastern Prairies, said Burnett, adding farmers were spraying to deal with disease pressure.

Going forward, “it would be nice to see warm temperatures and lower humidity,” he added.

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Phil Franz-Warkentin - MarketsFarm

Phil Franz-Warkentin writes for MarketsFarm specializing in grain and commodity market reporting.

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