The long-anticipated Statistics Canada report on field crop production that came out on Friday has a lot of questionable numbers. As expected, there’s a big increase in Saskatchewan’s summerfallow acres due to all the land too wet to seed. Stat Can pegs summerfallow at 9.67 million acres, an increase of 5.5 million acres from last year. However, the provincial government has estimated 8 million acres were too wet to seed. On top of that, millions of acres that were seeded have been flooded out. When you compare the Stat Can estimates of seeded acres versus harvested acres, it’s tough to see where all this flooded land has gone. I also think some of the yield estimates are out to lunch. For instance, the Saskatchewan lentil yield is estimated at 1400 pounds an acre. Looking back at data all the way to 1998, that’s the highest lentil yield in all those years. I have a tough time buying that. While big yields are estimated on lentils as well as mustard and canaryseed, yield estimates are down substantially from last year in oats, barley, canola and wheat. After surveying 4,800 Saskatchewan farmers, Stat Can should have accurate production estimates, but I’m not convinced. I’m Kevin Hursh.
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