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Alberta harvest mixed

Alberta harvest mixed

Posted on: 12/6/2017 | Author: ATB Financial's Economics + Research Team

Farmers have to work with whatever weather conditions Mother Nature sends their way. And here in Alberta, she can send them rain, sun, hail or snow—sometimes all on the same day. So after harvest, it's time to celebrate. However, this year, that celebration may have felt mixed.

For the most part, Alberta performed better than many anticipated at the beginning of the year. Despite earlier concerns of drought, wheat production, for example, edged up 0.8 per cent from the previous year to 10.0 million tonnes in 2017. This was the result of a 10.7 per cent rise in the harvested area to 7.0 million acres. The average yield (bushels per acre) fell by 5.4 bushels per acre to 52.6 bushels per acre.

Canola production had a great year compared to 2016. Production of canola increased nearly 11 per cent in Alberta this year to 6.8 million tonnes. This too was the result of an increase (+17.8 per cent) in the harvested area (6.9 million acres). The average yield for canola (bushels per acre) fell by 2.7 bushels per acre to 43.7 bushels per acre.

Barley suffered in 2017. Production fell 11.2 per cent from last year to 3.9 million tonnes. Part of the decline is due to weather, but the majority of this has to do with a reduction in the harvested area (-3.8 per cent to 2.5 million acres). The average yield for barley (bushels per acre) shrank by 5.9 bushels per acre to 71.78 bushels per acre.

There’s no guarantee what any year will bring. This year, however, harvest has been mixed.

Crop production, graph

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