Glacier FarmMedia COVID-19 & the Farm



The Good, Bad & Ugly

The Good, Bad & Ugly

The Good: Despite all of the acreage data released today, the monthly crush report provided the bullish news of the day. Canadian crushers squeezed a record amount of canola during the month of March with a total of 959,952 tonnes processed. Eastern swing mills are currently processing canola over soybeans, which is pushing the totals to record levels. The total crush for this crop year to the end of March is 7.04 million tonnes, which is an increase of 283,500 tonnes over last year. Domestic crush should set a record this year unless we physically run out of canola to crush.


The Bad: Spring wheat futures were slightly lower today, which isn’t entirely unexpected after the recent rally. The puzzling thing is that Statistic Canada published their sown area estimates for 2021 and spring wheat plantings are expected to be down by 8.8 per cent. Spring wheat area is expected to drop to 16.34 million acres which is down 1.59 million acres from last year. The North American HRS/CWRS area is now at the lowest level since the 2017-18 crop year and is down by eight per cent from last year. Someone should tell the market that the spring wheat growing areas are very dry going into planting season, because I don’t think the market comprehends that supplies are likely to be sharply reduced this year.

The Ugly: Maybe its a good thing that your European spring vacation was cancelled this year. The temperatures across the continent have been very cold with frost damage expected to some sensitive crops including canola. The frosts have largely disappeared, but the cold weather is expected to continue through Western and Eastern Europe for the next week. Temperatures are expected to be 2C to 4C below normal for the week. The cold weather has already slowed the development of winter and spring crops which means a later harvest this summer. Given that the world is worried about supplies, even a two week delay in harvest deliveries can be critical. Although the cold weather is unlikely to hurt production (other than frost damage) it will still have an impact on logistics this year.