Statistics Canada (STC) today pegged the 2020 Canadian oat crop at 4,576 ThMt, up 1.6% from the August forecast and 8% above the 2019 estimate, and 19.1% above the five-year average. Lower yield estimates this month were offset by higher harvested area.
Provincially, production changes month-over-month were mixed with Manitoba and Saskatchewan, the two largest producing provinces up 7.1 and 1.9% respectively this month compared to August estimates. Alberta was down 3.2% with Ontario and Quebec down 1.9% and 9.4%.
We will look at the numbers in detail in this evening's report but on the surface, the estimates were inline with industry guesses and change little the supply outlook. The North American oat trade will now turn to demand moving forward with offshore exports and domestic mill demand the primary focus.
STC said Canadian farmers produced more wheat, soybeans, corn for grain, barley, and oats in 2020 as a result of favorable conditions compared with the previous year, while canola production was down from a year earlier.
Although 2020 has been a difficult year for all Canadians including some agricultural operators due to COVID-19, challenges associated with the pandemic do not appear to have affected principal field crop production.
Crop conditions were relatively dry across much of Canada throughout the year, with the exception of most of Alberta and northern Saskatchewan.
This spring, dry conditions provided most farmers with the opportunity to complete planting on schedule. A lack of rain persisted into the summer, potentially affecting crop yields.
Harvest conditions nationwide were significantly improved compared with 2019, with favorable weather conditions helping farmers complete harvesting early in many areas. In fact, in parts of Western Canada, most of the crops were already harvested prior to the start of survey collection on October 9, 2020.