Coffee row in rural Saskatchewan has a competitor. There is a long tradition in this province of information exchanges taking place over a cup of joe in small town cafes – how big is the crop, who has a new sprayer or when will the road get graded and so on?
But now, and partly because of COVID, StatsCan has turned to satellite technology to predict this year’s crop. They’ve successfully tested this technology for a few years and decided to fully embrace it this year rather than bother farmers during the pandemic.
They issued a report for crop conditions at the end of July. And, while it doesn’t take into account the weather impacts of a heat wave in August, it is the first scientific indication of what farmers will be putting in the bin this year.
What it showed is that Western Canada had much better growing conditions than the east and plants were healthier out here, leading them to project that we’d grow more wheat because stronger yields. Canola output would decline because of lower acreage devoted to the crop and a very slight reduction in yield.