FAO/GIEWS - Foodcrops & Shortages No.5, November 2001


CANADA (19 November)

Canada’s output of cereals in 2001 has fallen sharply. In Alberta and Saskatchewan, yields were well below average, due to drought, while in Manitoba, yields were also below normal, but due to excess moisture. Aggregate wheat production in 2001 is now officially forecast at 20.7 million tonnes, slightly below that reported in September, about 23 percent down from last year and well below the average of the past five years. The latest forecast of aggregate coarse grain production in 2001 is put at 22.5 million tonnes, about 8 percent down from 2000 and also well below the five-year average. In eastern Canada, late autumn rains are reported to have held up planting of the small winter wheat crop.

UNITED STATES (19 November)

The November USDA crop report put the 2001 aggregate wheat (winter and spring) output at 53.3 million tonnes, 12 percent down from 2000 and about 17 percent below the average of the past five years. As of 11 November, planting of the winter wheat crop for harvest in 2001 was reported to be 96 percent complete, about normal for the time of season. However, the condition of the emerging crops is reported to be suffering because of drought conditions throughout the wheat plains. Crop condition ratings in mid-November were reported to be the poorest on record for the time of the season. More moisture is needed soon for early development of emerging crops as if plants are not strongly established before the onset of dormancy then the crop could be more susceptible to winter kill.

As the coarse grains harvest draws to a close in the main producing states, latest estimates point to a larger output this year than previously expected. The USDA's November forecast put aggregate coarse grain production at about 264 million tonnes, up about 7 million tonnes from the September report but still about 10 million tonnes down from last year’s bumper crop. Of the total, maize is expected to account for about 242 million tonnes, compared to 253 million tonnes in 2000. By 11 November it was reported that, 91 percent of the maize crop had been harvested, slightly behind last year’s pace but about average for the time of year.

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