Canadian floods could limit canola crops

Articles
April 15, 2009

Canadian floods could limit canola crops

Canada could soon be in a canola crunch. The anticipated heavy melt from near-record snowfalls in Manitoba would curb spring planting efforts there and prevent a large canola area from getting sown. The flooding has already slammed North Dakota, and looks as if it will throw water on plans by Canadian growers to boost canola acreage in 2009, following last year’s record harvest of 12.6 million metric tons, according to Storm Exchange. Growers have been bullish on canola prospects in recent years, expanding seeded areas from 5.3 million hectares in 2006 to 6.3 million in 2007 and 6.5 million in 2008, according to figures provided by Statistics Canada. The 2007 crop (latest figures available) accounted for almost one-fifth of overall crop receipts at a record $3.4 billion, up 37.0% from 2006, SC stated. Compounding Canada’s production problem, field conditions are currently too dry in Alberta, the country’s top canola-producing area because of dry fall and winter weather. “March precipitation improved conditions, but a one- to two-inch moisture deficit persists. Rainfall needs to be generous in late April and May in order to support vigorous growth and development,” added Storm Exchange. “Otherwise, canola will lapse back into drought. Subsoil moisture is absent due to low rainfall last fall.” These conditions could hit U.S. consumers in the pocketbook if marketers of canola products don’t take ample steps now to moderate price increases.

Canada could soon be in a canola crunch. The anticipated heavy melt from near-record snowfalls in Manitoba would curb spring planting efforts there and prevent a large canola area from getting sown.

The flooding has already slammed North Dakota, and looks as if it will throw water on plans by Canadian growers to boost canola acreage in 2009, following last year’s record harvest of 12.6 million metric tons, according to Storm Exchange.

Growers have been bullish on canola prospects in recent years, expanding seeded areas from 5.3 million hectares in 2006 to 6.3 million in 2007 and 6.5 million in 2008, according to figures provided by Statistics Canada. The 2007 crop (latest figures available) accounted for almost one-fifth of overall crop receipts at a record $3.4 billion, up 37.0% from 2006, SC stated.

Compounding Canada’s production problem, field conditions are currently too dry in Alberta, the country’s top canola-producing area because of dry fall and winter weather. “March precipitation improved conditions, but a one- to two-inch moisture deficit persists. Rainfall needs to be generous in late April and May in order to support vigorous growth and development,” added Storm Exchange. “Otherwise, canola will lapse back into drought. Subsoil moisture is absent due to low rainfall last fall.”

These conditions could hit U.S. consumers in the pocketbook if marketers of canola products don’t take ample steps now to moderate price increases.