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Extreme July Heat Lowers Crop Yield Expectations

by 5m Editor
3 August 2007, at 10:22am

CANADA - The Canadian Wheat Board reports that extreme heat during July has dramatically reduced crop yield expectations for much of the southern prairies, writes Bruce Cochrane.

Temperatures across the prairies during July ranged from three to six degrees higher than normal.

Canadian Wheat Board weather and crop surveillance director Bruce Burnett observes temperatures consistently close to five degrees above normal for an entire month are quite an exceptional occurrence.

Bruce Burnett-Canadian Wheat Board

Certainly the areas that are hardest hit are in southern Alberta and southwestern Saskatchewan and into parts of central Saskatchewan.

What happened in those areas, is we've had limited soil moisture through most of the growing season but crops developed well.

The rains came along just in time up until July to keep crop conditions quite reasonable and then, since the beginning of July, we've seen some exceptional heat and that has resulted in a loss of yield potential.

We're looking at the poorest crops coming in those southern areas of the prairies, parts of southern Alberta, southern Saskatchewan.

On the other hand the areas that had plenty of moisture, I'd say especially northern growing regions of Alberta and Saskatchewan and, for the most part, Manitoba although some areas in the southwest were a bit dry.

Those areas have held up fairly well.

Another thing that's been positive for the Manitoba crop at least is that planting in Manitoba was pretty much on normal or even a little bit ahead of normal in a lot of regions and that's resulted in the crops maturing in a little bit cooler temperatures than in some of the regions out in the west.


Burnett says the outlook for wheat is about three million tonnes lower than last year, due to the heat and a lower area planted to wheat.

He says expectations for barley are down about ten percent from earlier estimates but the barley crop is still anticipated to about 1.1 million tonnes higher than the five year average.

5m Editor