Weather Conditions to Influence 2011 Grain Quality

CANADA - A weather and crop analyst with the Canadian Wheat Board expects weather conditions between now and harvest to play a key role in influencing the quality of this year's grain crops, Bruce Cochrane writes.
calendar icon 6 July 2011
clock icon 3 minute read

From 1 April to early July the region from south central Saskatchewan to south central Manitoba has received anywhere from 200 to 400 millimeters of rain, more than double the normal amount.

Stuart McMillan, a weather and crop analyst with the Canadian Wheat Board, says that has resulted in a vast number of unseeded acres.

Stuart McMillan-Canadian Wheat Board

There are numbers that range as low as three million acres unseeded to other that would be nearing 10.

At the Wheat Board we would say about six million acres have gone unseeded of the six major grains and then an additional two million acres of minor and specialty crops.

There has been an assumption that, simply because we had a late start to the season and have had a slow growing season which has been compounded by the cool weather that we will automatically have poor quality.

I always like to look back within the past ten years.

In 2004 and 2009 both were characterized by cool weather, slow development, certainly in 2004 an abundance of excess moisture.

In those years the end result was vastly different.

In 2004 we had about 35 percent or so of durum and other CWRS grade one and two and in 2009 we were closer to 80.

That was solely a result of the August, September and into October weather.

I am of the mindset that simply because the crops have been late does not necessarily mean that we're in for a poor quality crop but my bias is that we will see lower grades this year and a greater availability of feed grains simply because it has been so wet and so cool and crops were seeded much later than idea.

Mr McMillan hopes we'll see more weather like we've had in the past week or so.

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