Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada has just released market outlooks for grains and oilseeds as well as pulse and special crops. A lot of the production and export projections are dramatic departures from the norm. Here’s a sampling. Canadian durum production is estimated to be down 44 per cent from last year, the lowest since the drought year of 1988. However, this will be partly offset by large carry-in stocks. In barley, the story is the reemergence of an export market. For the first time in several years, international prices are attractive enough that we will have a significant export program. In oats, production is expected to decrease 20 per cent from last year and it could be Canada’s second lowest oat output in the past 20 years. Production of oats in the U.S. is forecast to be the lowest on record, but the U.S. is expected to import 16 per cent less oats. That, says Ag Canada, is due to lower milling demand and displacement of oats by corn in feed rations. In flax, the expected production drop is a whopping 42 per cent due to a sharp drop in seeded area and yields. Flax exports are forecast to decline by 22 per cent. On many crops, this is going to be an abnormal marketing year.

I’m Kevin Hursh.

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