As major growing regions across the globe buckle under the strain of war, drought and extreme weather, Canadian farmers are poised to harvest their second largest crop since 1960, raking in over 34 million tons of wheat this year, an increase of over 55 percent compared to last year’s harvest.
According to data, published by Statistics Canada, wheat is not the only crop that has performed extremely well this year in Canada. Farmers are expected to harvest 19.5 million tons of canola, up 41.7 percent compared to last year, and corn for grain production is expected to increase by six percent.
The big numbers are a welcome sight after the region posted a 38 percent decline in wheat production in 2021 when only 21.6 million tons of wheat was harvested. This year’s expected wheat harvest is still significantly lower than Canada’s record breaking harvest in 2013 when Canadian farmers harvested over 37 million tons of wheat.
In the Canadian Prairies “higher-than-average precipitation and more moderate temperatures have resulted in better crop conditions than in 2021,” Statistics Canada wrote.
In the province of Alberta, provincial reports indicate that around three-quarters of the province’s crop was rated as being in good to excellent condition, a stark contrast to 2021 when only one-fifth of the total crop was rated good to excellent.
Statistics Canada is relying on data provided by satellite technology and agroclimatic data to model the preliminary estimates of crop yields and production.
A major contributor to the successful growing season was a significant increase in harvested area. Harvested area in Canada is expected to grow by 9.4 percent in 2022 to 24.9 million acres.
“The increase in expected total wheat production is largely attributable to spring wheat, which is anticipated to rise 57.3% to 25.6 million tonnes,” Statistics Canada says.
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According to the same data, durum wheat — used to produce dry goods like pasta — has increased by an astounding 101 percent in 2022.
In the province of Saskatchewan, the heart of the Canadian wheat industry, yields are expected to rise by 55.2 percent to 43.6 bushels per acre while the harvested area is expected to rise by 12.5 percent, resulting in a 74.4 percent increase in production.
In addition, Barley and oat production are projected to rise significantly compared to 2021 despite the total harvested area for the crops expected to drop by 14.8 percent. This year’s estimated barley harvest is projected to be up 57.7 percent compared to 2021 when farmers only harvested just over 6.9 million tons. This year, farmers in Canada are expected to harvest 10.5 million tons of barley.
“Oat production is projected to rise by 59.2% to 4.5 million tonnes. Harvested area is expected to increase by 10.6% to 3.2 million acres, and yields are expected to rise by 44.1% year over year to 90.2 bushels per acre in 2022,” Statistics Canada wrote.
The bumper year is primarily driven by better growing conditions in Western Canada. Farmers in Eastern Canada are not in the position to boast about their yields this year as drier-than-average conditions and cooler than normal temperatures over the last month of the growing season impacted harvests.