Barley crops across Western Canada are generally in good condition. In Alberta there are some concerns over recent dryness in south and central regions however crops provincially are rated 79% in good or excellent condition compared to last year at 30% and the 5 year average of 73%. In Saskatchewan the majority of crops are in good to excellent condition and either ahead or at their normal stage of development. Almost all areas of the province reported rain over the past week, with many areas reporting more than 30 mm. In Manitoba warmer and drier weather conditions in late June were welcome after excessive precipitation during June. The more favourable weather conditions allowed some acres impacted by excess moisture to recover however continuing wet field conditions and symptoms of excess moisture continue to be noted across most regions.
Crop seeding is nearing completion across the Canadian Prairies. After very dry conditions through April and early May, subsequent rains provided much needed moisture, encouraging planting and now helping with germination and emergence. As of May 31st, seeding is now over 95% complete in both Alberta and Manitoba, a little ahead of average in both provinces. Seeding in Saskatchewan is around 90% complete which is well ahead of average. Continued rain is hampering final seeding in some areas however the precipitation has been a welcome change from the near record dry conditions experienced in April. Stats Can has projected a 4% increase in barley seeded area this year while Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada is forecasting production to rise 3% to 8.5 million tonnes in 2016.
Barley seeded area in Canada is projected to grow by 3.8% according to Statistics Canada’s March 2016 Principal field crop areas, based on a producer survey and released on April 21. Producers intend to seed 6.78 mln acres (2.74 mln ha) compared with 6.53 mln acres (2.64 mln ha) in 2015. This follows an 11% increase between 2014 and 2015. Using a trend yield of 65 bushel/acre (3.5 t/ha) would result in a crop of 8.65 mln tonnes, up from 8.23 mln T last year and 7.1 mln T in 2014. Strong prices for malting barley is a factor driving interest in seeding barley this year. And according the AAFC’s Outlook for Principal Field Crops released April 13, feed barley cash prices are higher than the average of recent years. With virtually no malting barley left available after two consecutive years poor harvest weather, Canada is hoping to replenish stocks this year to meet rising global demand for malting barley and malt.
Conditions across much of western Canada were extraordinarily dry during the spring and the first part of the summer of 2015. Higher than normal temperatures in April and dry conditions during April and May resulted in rapid planting progress.However the dryness and cooler temperatures during May slowed crop growth and development, and frost at the end of May damaged crops in the eastern Prairies.By the end of May large swathes of the Prairies, particularly in eastern Alberta and western Saskatchewan, had received less than 40% of average precipitation. Read More...