Early expectations for lower crop yields amid dry weather
Two reports point to lower crop production this year
By Siddhartha Bhattacharya, ATB Economics 31 August 2023 1 min read
Dry conditions in the central-east and south parts of the province are expected to weigh on crop yields in Alberta this year. Two recent reports highlight that yields for most crops are expected to drop from last year’s record levels based on early estimates.
In the Government of Alberta’s latest crop report (August 22), recent rains in some areas of the province improved crop conditions slightly. However, the share of crops rated ‘good to excellent’ held steady from the previous report at around 43%, below the 5-year average of 57%. The share of crops rated in this category ranged from 25% in the driest areas (well below the 5-year average of 50% for the area) to 62% in the best region (closer to the 5-year average of 64% for this area). The report’s latest crop yield estimates are at 86% of the past five years.
Statistics Canada’s latest model-based estimates for crops were released Tuesday. According to these estimates, wheat and barley production in Alberta are expected to drop by 16% and 15%, respectively, this year from the bumper production in 2022. Canola production is estimated to be 1.2% lower than 2022 levels, while oats and lentils are projected to be down by over a third. Despite these declines, Statistics Canada expects production to remain well above 2021’s depressed levels. These are preliminary estimates, with Statistics Canada noting final estimates will not be available until December 3.
Some crop farmers will face a challenging harvest, which will impact farm cash receipts throughout the balance of this year and until 2024’s harvest.
Answer to the previous trivia question: PCL Construction Holdings Ltd. is the largest company headquartered in Edmonton based on revenue in 2022, according to the Financial Post.*
Today’s trivia question: Among the 50 US states, which one imported the most grain from Alberta in 2022?
*An earlier version of the question incorrectly had 2002 (instead of 2022) as the reference year