A drought in Canada is triggering concerns over spring planting season
The global wheat supply may be in jeopardy due to exceptionally dry weather in Canada, Bloomberg reported on Tuesday, citing experts.
According to David Streit, head meteorologist at Canada’s Commodity Weather Group, certain sections of the Canadian Prairies are suffering from the second-driest beginning of the year in nearly half a century. Canada’s Agriculture Ministry reported that major spring farming regions such as Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba recorded less than 60% of the average precipitation since September 1 last year.
The lack of rain is making the farmland too dry to plant wheat and canola crops.
“It becomes a bit of an art to try and get those seeds at the right depth into the soil because you need to be seeding into moisture to get them to germinate,” Bill Prybylski, a farmer and vice president at the Agricultural Producers Association of Saskatchewan, told Bloomberg.
Canada is one of the world’s top producers of canola and wheat. Last year, the country’s total wheat production amounted to 33.8 million tons, the third highest on record, and canola output was 18.2 million tons, according to state statistics. However, these volumes were the result of favorable weather conditions, while the current drought may seriously damage this year’s chances for a good harvest, experts warn.
READ MORE: Putin reveals Russia’s grain supply plans
The drop in Canadian crop yield may not affect the global grain market as severely as Western analysts believe. Russia, the world’s largest wheat exporter, reported a bumper crop in 2022, harvesting more than 150 million tons of grain – a nearly 30% increase compared to 2021, including over 100 million tons of wheat. Despite Western sanctions, which indirectly caused problems for Russian grain exports, the country recently revised its export forecast higher, from 50 million to 55-60 million tons of grain in the current crop year due to greater global demand.
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April 05, 2023 at 11:30AM