Saskathchewan signalled the potential for a rise in yields this year of major crops, giving weight to expectations voiced by some investors of the national wheat crop topping 30m tonnes for the first time in more than 20 years.
Farm officials in Canada's biggest wheat and canola producing province, estimated the yield in the ripening spring wheat crop at 33-41 bushels per acre, depending on the region.
While they failed to give a provincial total, the simple average of 38.0 bushels per acre is ahead of the 35.6 bushels per acre last year.
For canola, yield figures varied from 28-35 bushels per acre, with a similar average of 31.5 bushels per acre, well above last year's provincial result of 24.6 bushels per acre.
The data offered support to investors who believe Canada's farm ministry, AAFC, was too conservative earlier this week in keeping its forecast for the domestic wheat harvest at 29.2m tonnes, on a small reduction in yield.
The estimate of the canola crop was kept at 14.6m tonnes, narrowly below the 2011 record.
'A lot of wheat produced
The Saskatchewan data follow an estimate earlier this week from provincial officials in Manitoba that the winter wheat harvest was yielding 55-80 bushels per acre "with good quality and protein levels", compared with the 64.7 bushels per acre achieved last year, and 57.1 bushels per acre in 2011.
"It does look like there is going to be a lot of wheat produced up there," Brian Henry at US-based broker Benson Quinn Commodities said.
"There has been a good overall weather pattern," with current warmer temperatures boding well for finishing the crop, Mr Henry told Agrimoney.com.
Production prospects have also been boosted by estimates of more than 2m acres in extra sowings.
"Some people have been throwing out production figures of 30m tonnes or more," a level which has not been reached since 1991-92, and above a US Department of Agriculture estimate upgraded 500,000 tonnes to a 17-year high of 29.5m tonnes this week.
'Above-average crop vigour'
The USDA, 300,000 tonnes more upbeat than AAFC on Canada's wheat production prospects, is even more optimistic on prospects for the canola harvest.
The USDA this week raised its forecast for the crop to a record 15.3m tonnes, saying that "sufficient precipitation coupled with normal temperatures has advanced crop development despite the late start," thanks to a cold and wet spring.
"Warmer temperatures in the latter part of June and the beginning of July promoted flowering throughout the western prairies."
Indeed, analysis of satellite images "shows above-average crop vigour, higher than 2009 when record yields were achieved".
Saskathchewan's farm officials said the province's farmers had "just started" swathing canola, ahead of harvesting.