Spring wheat supplies are set to take a hit in 2021 as acreage in Canada, the biggest producer, is forecast to slump by 9% from last year, to 6.6 million hectares. Lower wheat acreage in Canada comes at a time when drought in the US Northern Plains could also hurt spring wheat production.
Although Canada is the sixth-largest producer of wheat overall, and fourth-largest exporter, it is the No. 1 producer of spring wheat, making the country a key influencer of wheat trade flows. Monitoring Canadian wheat production is vital amid ongoing trade tensions between China and Australia, traditionally one of China’s top wheat suppliers. China’s wheat imports are forecast to increase 75% from last year as high corn prices encourage substitution of competing feed grains.
Gro’s Canada Spring Wheat Yield Forecast Model will begin generating near-real-time yield analysis at the district level as the growing season gets underway in the next few weeks. Gro’s model, which updates daily, has proved to be more accurate than in-season yield estimates provided by Statistics Canada.
Spring wheat, which is sown in the spring and harvested in the fall, is a high protein, high gluten wheat typically used in artisanal wheat products and for blending with other wheats to increase gluten content.
Russia is the other big producer of spring wheat, but has imposed export restrictions that could impact global supplies of the grain. Spring wheat production from Canada, Russia, and the US combined has ranged between 55-63 million tonnes annually over the past 5 years.
Canadian farmers are eschewing spring wheat this year in favor of other crops, including barley and canola, which are offering better returns. Statistics Canada said the forecast decline in spring wheat acreage means total area planted to all wheat varieties will decline nearly 7% in 2021 from last year. Spring wheat represents about 75% of Canada’s total wheat production.
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