US officials questioned expectations of a rise in Canada’s canola harvest this year despite ideas of an strong start to the spring sowing season, foreseeing a second successive fall in exports of the oilseed too.
The US Department of Agriculture bureau in Ottawa, in it first forecast for Canadian canola production this year, pegged the crop at 15.55m tonnes, a marginal reduction on last year’s crop.
The forecast is also below estimates from Canada’s farm ministry, AAFC, and from the International Grains Council, which have forecast a rise in output to 16.0m tonnes.
The bureau’s estimate reflected an expectation of Canadian sowings of the rapeseed variant holding at 8.23m hectares this year, rather than the increases expected by the AAFC and IGC.
The bureau acknowledged the “prospects of an early spring which is favourable to canola planting… and attractive prices relative to other crops”.
However, bureao research with industry sources “revealed much uncertainty with regards to planting decisions at a time of year when these decisions are usually nearly completed”.
One factor concerning farmers is that “there have been some rotation issues being reported with canola due to tight rotations”.
The strong growth in Canadian canola output, which has doubled in the past decade, has been fuelled by, in some cases, farmers skimping on alternating plantings of canola with those of other crops, to depress pest and disease pressures.
The Canola Council of Canada industry group has warned, for instance of the raised clubroot threat in canola rotation “with less than a two-year break”.
A harvest of 15.55m tonnes, coupled with a boost to domestic crushing capacity thanks to investment at a Cargill plant in Camrose, Alberta, will curtail Canada’s canola exports at 8.5m tonnes in 2015-16, the bureau said.
That would represent a drop of 200,000 tonnes year on year, and a second successive season of decline from the record 9.17m tonnes in 2013-14.
China is the top importer of Canadian canola, followed by Japan and Mexico.
The drop in production would also counter a drive by the Canola Council of Canada to raise domestic production to 26m tonnes by 2025.
“The world is telling Canada’s canola industry to keep it coming,” the council believes, cutting the “compelling potential for health solutions and protein requirements to meet growing global food demand”.
The council envisages the Canadian canola yield reaching 52 bushels per acre, up from 40 bushels per acre in 2013.
(Source – http://www.blackseagrain.net/novosti/us-staff-doubt-ideas-of-canada-canola-output-rise)