The Good: Well it finally proved that it could rain/snow on Friday and Saturday, with 15 to 30 mm falling in Alberta and parts of western Saskatchewan. Amounts over the past seven days have ranged between 15 and 30 mm which has helped provide enough moisture to get the crop off to a good start. The only negative was that the system did not push eastward across the Prairies and most of Saskatchewan and Manitoba received minimal amounts of precipitation in the past week. The rains do not solve the long term drought issues in the Prairies, but at least it is a start. Regular rains are needed this growing season as subsoil moisture reserves are very short.
The Bad: Canola futures certainly took a sharp turn to the downside as the nearby contract was down the C$30 per tonne limit. The rains in Alberta and the forecast for rains next week pushed canola lower. Soybean oil futures were down by close to one per cent on the day, which also pushed canola lower. Volatile markets are expected to continue through the next few months as traders try to sort out the production prospects in Western Canada as well as the rest of the globe. There will be a few more days of limit up and limit down moves left in the next three months.
The Ugly: There are pull backs and then there is a free fall. Spring wheat definitely was in a free fall today. Rains on the weekend and the potential for more rain next week caused the bears to take swipe at spring wheat. Total forecast precipitation for next week looks to be in the 10 to 20 mm range, which will only help improve topsoil moisture conditions. Normal rains in the eastern Dakota’s are close to 15 mm per week during May. In the meantime, subsoil moisture levels in North Dakota remained at 81 per cent short to very short this past week. Spring wheat planting in the U.S. is 71 per cent complete, which is 11 per cent ahead of the five year average. If the rains do occur next week, they will be very well timed.