The wheat crop cometh: Western Canada is growing a big crop

(Kara Oosterhuis/RealAgriculture)

By many accounts, if the sun shines and the creek don’t rise, there’s a monster spring wheat crop coming in the west.

But don’t just take our word for it; mounting evidence from several sources points to a rather large spring wheat supply building in Western Canada.

Jon Driedger, senior market analyst with LeftField Commodity Research, says that he’s definitely hearing consistent messages from many growers, and if the provincial crop reports are correct, all signs point to a decent supply mounting.

“As the calendar ticks, and things are in really good shape, it would take something pretty significant to really hurt this crop,” he says.

As Driedger alludes we’re running out of runway to hit any weather problems. Corey Loessin, farmer from Radisson, Sask., says that the year started dry, then it started to rain, and then they got a lot of rain … the crop has really grown.

Loessin says that there’s a good stand out there, and the last few weeks of hot and dry weather were needed for that maturity push, even if it does take the top end out of the yield potential.

“It’s looking like quite a good crop. Things look good,” he says.

Alberta has had a wild growing season, and those areas that didn’t get hailed out — and we are not downplaying how terrible those losses have been — look quite good.

For Scott Keller, who farms near New Norway, it’s been a wet season except for mid July, but the cereal crop has been heading in the right direction since the get-go.

“I hate to jinx it, but I’ve never seen better wheat, and our barley is fantastic and standing perfectly,” Keller says. “As far as cereals go, I think it’s going to be the best we’ve grown.” That said, he says that those areas that were hailed out have already lost whole fields, or he’s seen major lodging  from rain and wind events.

All of that supply doesn’t necessarily mean the worst news for prices, Driedger says. “There’s a strong seasonal trend for cash prices and futures to trade lower this time of year, but on the backside of harvest and into early winter, we’re not going to be bearish wheat, but we still may have to wrestle with some lower prices because of bigger supply.”

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