Quality of western Canadian canola 2016 - Weather and production review

Weather and production review

Weather review and effects on seeding and harvest

The weather maps presented in Figures 2a and 2b were obtained from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. Seeding and harvest progress for each provinces are presented in Figure 3. The graphs were done using the crop reports for each province : Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Alberta.

As in 2015 and 2014, extreme conditions were the norm for the 2016 growing season.  A warm and dry winter with little snow allowed an early seeding in most of the western provinces.  In Alberta, cool temperatures and frost (mid-May) slowed down the 2016 seeding progress, but by June 7th about 99.4% of the seeding was completed, the rest was not seeded due to excessive moisture.  In Saskatchewan, seeding started early, by April 25th about 3% of the crop was seeded.  The seeding progress advanced rapidly and by the end of May about 94% of the crop was seeded.  The last week of May and early June, cool temperatures and rain slowed down the progress but by June 13th, the 2016 seeding period was considered terminated with 99.5% of the crop in the ground.  The seeding progress was faster that what has been observed for the 5 year average, with only 94% of the crop seeded in the same period (Figure 3).  In Manitoba, the seeding started in April in some areas and was considered 99% completed by June 6th. 

The 2016 harvest period was the longest harvest period observed in a very long time (Figure 3).  It started in August and was not completely done by end of November, some producers will have to harvest their crop still standing or in swath during the 2017 spring.  The Manitoba harvest started the first week of August as some producers were able to swath their canola, however heavy rain in mid-September (Figure 2b) slowed its progress.  By mid-October, it was reported that 95% of the Manitoba canola crop was harvested (Figures 3 and 4).  In Saskatchewan and Alberta the harvest progressed rapidly in August and September but mid-September precipitations slightly slowed it down (Figure 3).  By mid-October, about 77 and 67% of the canola was harvested in Saskatchewan and Alberta, respectively.  Then a combination of heavy rain and snow completely stopped the harvest progress (Figures 2b, 3b and 4) for over 3 weeks.  A warmer and drier than normal November (Figure 2a) allowed harvest resume in both provinces.  By end of November, Alberta reported that only 86.8% of the canola crop was harvested compared to 96% in Saskatchewan.

Figure 2a. Maps Monthly mean temperature difference from normal in Canada (Prairies) during the 2016 growing season (October and November 2016).

October 2016

Map:Mean temperature difference from normal (Prairie Region),October 2016
(Source: Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada)

November 2016

Map:Mean temperature difference from normal (Prairie Region),November 2016
(Source: Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada)

Figure 2b. Maps  Accumulated precipitation and departure from normal in Canada (Prairies) during the 2016 growing season (August 28th to September 26th, and October 2 to October 31, 2016).

August 28, 2016 to September 26, 2016

Map:Accumulated precipitation and departure from normal in Canada (Prairies), August 28, 2016 to September 26, 2016
(Source: Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada)

October 2 to October 31, 2016

Map:Accumulated precipitation and 30-day departure from average in Canada (Prairies),October 2-31, 2016
(Source: Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada)

Figure 3. Seeding and harvest progress in Saskatchewan and Alberta for the 2015 and 2016 growing seasons

Seeding progress in 2015 and 2016

Graph:Seeding progress in Manitoba,Saskatchewan and Alberta for the 2015 and 2016 growing seasons.Details below

  • Details
    Seeding progress in Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta for the 2015 and 2016 growing seasons
    Seeding date 2016 Manitoba, % 2016 Saskatchewan, % 2016 Alberta, % 2015 Manitoba, % 2015 Saskatchewan, % 2015 Alberta, %
    May 2 35
    May 3 55
    June 1 75
    June 2 65
    June 3 99
    June 15 100
    May 4 1
    May 11 55
    May 19 72
    May 25 87
    June 1 93
    June 8 97
    June 15 100
    April 27 1
    May 4 14
    May 11 34
    May 18 64
    26-May 87
    June 1 97
    May 5 14
    May 12 35
    May 19 70
    May 26 95
    June 2 100
    May 5 0.5
    May 12 0.5
    May 20 25
    May 26 27
    June 2 65
    June 9 85
    June 16 90
    June 23 100
    May 8 2
    May 15 7
    May 22 22
    May 29 64
    June 5 78
    June 12 93
    June 19 95
    June 26 100
    May 5 2
    May 20 47
    June 3 95

Harvest progress in 2015 and 2016

Graph:Harvest progress in Manitoba,Saskatchewan and Alberta for the 2015 and 2016 growing seasons.Details below

  • Details
    Harvesting progress in Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta for the 2015 and 2016 growing seasons
    Harvesting date 2016 Manitoba, % 2016 Saskatchewan, % 2016 Alberta, % 2015 Manitoba, % 2015 Saskatchewan, % 2015 Alberta, %
    August 10 1 0.8
    August 17 3 1.8
    August 24 7 1.8
    August 31 14 6.6
    September 8 25 13.2 1
    September 15 38 19.2 5
    September 22 47.8 28.9 30
    September 29 70 42 45
    October 6 81 60.2 70
    October 14 95 89 79.8 85
    October 20 97 94.2 90
    August 21 1
    August 28 2
    September 4 7
    September 11 1
    September 18 23
    September 25 68
    October 2 89
    October 16 95
    October 23 99
    October 30
    August 19 1
    August 26 4
    September 2 13
    September 9 19
    September 16 26
    September 23 52
    September 30 72
    October 7 81
    October 17 93
    October 21 97.7

Figure 4. Canola harvest progress as of October 21st, 2016. Provincial crop reports were used to estimate the harvest progress in each province.

Harvest progress % as of October 21, 2016

Map:Western Canada showing 2016 canola harvest progress per crop district.Details below

  • Details
    Harvest progress % as of October 21, 2016 (Source: Statistics Canada)
    Harvest progress (%) Manitoba crop districts Saskatchewan crop districts Alberta crop districts
    > 95% 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
    86-89% 1A, 1B, 2A, 2B, 3AS 1, 2, 3
    80-81.5% 3AN, 3BN, 3BS, 4A, 4B
    77-80% 6A, 7A, 7B 7
    73-74% 5A, 5B, 6A, 8A, 8B, 9A, 9B
    59-60% 1, 2, 3, 4A, 4B, 5, 6
    48-49% 4B, 5, 6

Production

On average since 2012, Western Canadian farmers have planted over 8.0 million hectares of canola, in 2016, they seeded 8,242.3 thousand hectares, about 1.5% less than what was seeded in 2015 and slightly less (0.8%) than the 5-year average.(Table 2)

Weather had a significant effect on the harvested areas this year.  In October, snow halted the 2016 canola harvest in some areas of Alberta, Saskatchewan and British Columbia.  The percent of lost seeded hectares were 1.6, 6.0, 7.6 and 9.4% for Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia, respectively.

Statistics Canada reported that the 2016 western Canada average yield was 2,400 kilograms/hectare higher than the 5-year yield average of 2,000 kilograms/hectare.  In 2016, the highest yield average was observed in Alberta at 2,600 kilograms/hectare, followed by Saskatchewan and British Columbia (2,300 kilograms/hectare).  Manitoba yield was the lowest at 2,200 kilograms/hectare but this is still higher than the 5 year average.

As of January 2017, Statistics Canada reported that the 2016 production for western Canada was 18.36 million metric tonnes, this was the second highest production recorded in western Canada.  It was only 100,200 tonne lower than the 2013 record production of 18.46 million metric tonnes and well above the 5-year average production (16.27 million  tonnes). In 2016, the provincial production for Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia accounted for 14.9, 53.1, 31.5 and 0.4% (16.6, 51.3, 31.7 and 0.4% in 2015) of the total canola production, respectively. (Table 2)  

Table 2 - Seeded area and production for western Canadian canola
Seeded area Harvested area ProductionFootnote1
thousand hectares thousand hectares thousand tonnes
2016 2015 2011-15 2016 2015 2011-15 2016 2015 2011-15
Manitoba 1,276.8 1,270.7 1,280.0 1,256.5 1,266.7 1,266.7 2,774.2 2,857.6 2,448.0
Saskatchewan 4,492.0 4,512.2 4,374.7 4,224.9 4,492.0 4,338.2 9,752.2 9,536.8 8,104.3
Alberta 2,407.9 2,517.1 2,577.2 2,225.8 2,501.0 2,558.0 5,783.3 5,851.3 5,652.4
British Columbia 38.4 36.4 40.8 34.8 36.4 40.4 81.6 70.8 74.0
Western Canada 8,215.1 8,336.4 8,272.6 7,742.0 8,296.1 8,203.3 18,361.3 18,316.5 16,278.8
Canada 8,242.3 8,362.6 8,312.7 7,768.8 8,322.0 8,242.6 18,423.6 18,376.5 16,362.8
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