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NORTON: Canada's harvest delays continue

CRESTWOOD, Ky. -- In the past few weeks, rains have been persistent in keeping farmers from getting much work done. In Saskatchewan, 81 percent of all crops have been harvested, compared to the five-year average pace of 97 percent, at this time. ...

2343277+Soybean harvest fotokosticistockphoto.jpg
fotokostic/iStockphoto.com

CRESTWOOD, Ky. - In the past few weeks, rains have been persistent in keeping farmers from getting much work done.

In Saskatchewan, 81 percent of all crops have been harvested, compared to the five-year average pace of 97 percent, at this time. More progress has been seen in southern regions, compared to central and northern areas, but all regions have adequate-to-surplus moisture.

For the remaining crops, many farmers are going to have to wait for the ground to freeze before they will be able to get into the field to complete harvest. There are even some predicting that a small percentage of the crops will have to be left out through the winter.

Just south of the border, North Dakota saw some ideal weather conditions for harvest activity. Farmers were able to make good progress on winter wheat planting and harvest of soybeans, edible beans, and other products.

Wheat

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Agriculture Canada's updated balance sheets confounded the market as they kept the summer Statistics Canada estimate. While lower conditions were acknowledged as a result of the recent rains, no cut to production was made. This leaves all wheat (including durum) carryout at 5.7 million metric tons.

U.S. winter wheat planting is in its final stages. The weekly report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture on progress and conditions of major crops showed 79 percent completion, compared to 82 percent for the five-year average. The report also included the first condition rating for the 2016 to '17 winter wheat crop.

USDA reported 59 percent of the crop as good to excellent, compared to 48 percent last year. Note that fall conditions rarely have a major impact on eventual yields, but the market largely will take the information available to trade ahead of winter dormancy.

Durum

Pricing remains flat, with the market holding steady for the last several weeks. In Europe, durum planting is just getting started (as reported by France AgriMer).

Canola

Canola prices have been firmer. The market is finding support from the broader oil markets, with another big rally in the soybean oil market. Gains from palm have been limited because of a dip in export demand, of late. From a purely canola perspective, there is some independent strength coming from Canadian harvest delays and quality issues. Crush has been strong to meet demand, but firmness remains.

Despite slowdowns in Canada's harvest, the U.S. has been able to get more done ahead of late October rains.

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USDA reported soybean harvest at 76 percent complete, which is right in line with the five-year average.

Peas and lentils

Pea markets have been firmer, of late. Strong export demand in October compared to the previous year has kept support for the market.

Export clearances in August were 20,000 metric tons above the previous year. Also, the U.S. government sought 1,900 metric tons of pulses for shipment from Canada for food aid.

Agriculture Canada has forecasted total lentil production at 3.26 million metric tons in 2016 compared to 2.54 in the previous year. Export demand should rise to meet this larger supply, at 2.2 million metric tons, compared to 2.15 million metric tons last year, leaving stocks at a more comfortable 400,000 metric tons.

Last year's carryout was just 73,000 metric tons. But with bigger supply comes lower prices. Statistics Canada expects grower bids for all classes to range from $530 to $560 per metric ton in 2016 to '17 compared to $965 last year.

Mustard

From Statistics Canada, the mustard market got a good look at expected supplies and pricing for 2016 to '17. Average grower bids are expected to range from $640 to $670 in 2016 to '17 compared to last year's $985 per metric ton. This drop is a result of higher production at 234,000 metric tons, compared to 123,000 metric tons last year. Exports should bump to 120,000 metric tons from 113 in 2015 to '16.

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The big price pressure comes from higher ending stocks. Two years ago, stocks were 35,000 metric tons, while 2015 to '16 dropped to just 5,000 metric tons. But the current expectation for 2016 to '17 stocks is 75,000 metric tons.

Related Topics: MARKETSCROPS
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