Spring wheat crops in Canada have made a much better start
than those in the US, to judge by initial ratings in the top growing province,
which in fact showed canola, chickpeas and durum suffering worse from weather hiccups.
Saskatchewan farm officials, in their first crop ratings of 2017,
pegged the province's spring wheat crop at 75% in "good" or "excellent" condition,
with only 3% seen as "poor", and none as "very poor".
The figure is notably lower than the 92% of Saskatchewan
spring wheat rated good or excellent as of a year.
However, it is well above the 45% good or excellent figure attributed
to the US spring wheat crop, of which 20% is rated as poor or very poor, on
official data released on Monday.
Saskatchewan - with an average harvest of spring wheat,
excluding durum, of some 8.5m tonnes over the past year – is typically
responsible for more than 40% of Canada's overall crop, which averages 20.6m
The average US spring wheat harvest over the past three
years is 15.7m tonnes.
"Overall crop development has improved with the warm and wet
weather," Saskatchewan officials, said, with southern and central parts of Saskatchewan
have previously struggled with the same dryness which has afflicted northern US
Indeed, "much-needed rainfall received this week will help
replenish topsoil moisture and allow crops to advance.
Proportion of Saskatchewan crop rated "good" or "excellent", (change on year ago)
Spring wheat: 75%, (-17 points)
Barley: 73%, (-19 points)
Canola: 64%, (-22 points)
Durum: 59%, (-37 points)
Chickpeas: 54%, (-45 points)
Data compare crop condition as of June 12 2017 with that of June 13 2016
"Many areas in the south were relieved to see rain as crops,
hay land and pastures were in need of significant moisture."
Before the latest band of rains "topsoil moisture conditions
were deteriorating in southern and central areas".
Even so, topsoil moisture in 41% of the province is seen as "short"
or "very short"
And this figure disguises an excess of moisture in many northern
parts, where wet fields have left farmers a little behind in seedings.
"Much of the north has surplus topsoil moisture at this time,"
the officials said in a report.
The briefing also showed some crops suffering more from the
conditions than spring wheat, with the proportion of canola rated good or
excellent, at 64%, down 22 points year on year.
Saskatchewan, which has produced an average of 9.09m tonnes
of canola over the past three years, is responsible for a little over half the
Canadian total harvest, which has averaged 17.7m tonnes, according to official
Canada is the world's top exporter of the rapeseed variant.
In durum wheat, Saskatchewan produces more than 80% of the
country's typical 6.1m-tonne harvest.