CANADA — After drought significantly diminished Canada’s wheat production output in 2021, the North American country is well on its way to recording a bumper harvest thanks to Increased acreage, higher yields and improved soil moisture.
According to a Global Agricultural Information Network report from the Foreign Agricultural Service of the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), total wheat production is estimated to be up 56% from last year’s drought-impacted crop.
Canada is seen harvesting 34.703 million tonnes of wheat from 10.059 million hectares, compared with 22.296 million tonnes from 9.193 million hectares in 2021-22.
Spring and Durum wheat lead the wheat production rally, helping more than offset a decline in winter wheat production which is mainly attributed to a 22% reduction in the area planted in Ontario.
FAS noted that non-durum and durum wheat are expected to be of high quality, resulting in lower feed-grade wheat supplies.
With high production expected, Canada is also forecast to export more wheat with North Africa (particularly Morocco) and Italy being the top destinations.
About 25 million tonnes will be exported, a significant jump from the 15.1 million tonnes exported the previous year.
The 2022 crop is also expected to be the first sizable crop in four years to compete for rail services with other sectors throughout an entire marketing year.
US wheat conditions improve after rain
In the neighboring UK, things are also looking up, with improved growing conditions for wheat being signs of a good harvest later in the year.
November started with a healthy dollop of moisture which has improved the condition of the hard red winter wheat crop in the drought-challenged central and southern Plains.
USDA in its weekly Crop Progress report on Nov. 7 released its second aggregate winter wheat condition ratings for the crop to be harvested in 2023 where winter wheat in the 18 principal production states as of Nov. 6 was rated 30% good to excellent, 36% fair, and 34% poor to very poor.
A week earlier, 28% of the crop was in good to excellent condition. For comparison, 45% of the 2022 crop was in good to excellent condition a year earlier.
Crop conditions were far better and drought conditions relatively minor in the soft winter wheat production Central states.
Good-to-excellent winter wheat conditions on Nov. 6 were at 58% in Missouri (56% a week earlier), 34% in Illinois (35%), 67% in Indiana (65%), 51% in Ohio (55%) and 59% in Michigan (53%).
Although promising, the latest condition ratings may not reveal the full extent of the improvement, some in the industry said, and more rain is needed to replenish depleted soil moisture profiles.