E-Malt. E-Malt.com News article: Canada: Barley crop advancing with variable harvest prospects

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E-Malt.com News article: Canada: Barley crop advancing with variable harvest prospects
Barley news

Canada’s barley and other crops are still advancing, however there is some nuisance rains in the forecast projected to cut across the Prairies and cause some harvest delays, CMBTC reported on August 23.

Harvest prospects are variable. The southern regions were deprived of normal rains and the northern regions received, in some cases, excessive rains. These, combined with cooler than seasonal temperatures, have pushed back crop development and placed the crop in danger of early frost, which would cause quality issues. These regions require warm dry weather into the end of August to early September. Some crops will need frost free weather into the first half of September.

Overall, the crop is developing under more favourable conditions than the start of the crop year. Stats Canada forecasts that the barley crop will be 9.7 million tonnes, while other agencies are forecasting a 10.4 million tonnes, which will easily surpass last year's crop of 8.4 million tonnes. In general the trade is more comfortable with a larger crop number.
General harvesting is still 1-3 weeks away depending on the area. The southern Prairies having slowly commenced harvesting.


The southern region is the only one that has commenced harvest and general combining in this region will begin this weekend. The central and northern regions are wet due to an ongoing rain cycle and below seasonal temperatures which has slowed down the growth development and fanned the fear of an early frost, which would harm the barley crop.

• Southern region (Lethbridge, Foremost): Harvest results to date are very predictable, with some yields as low as 30-35 bushels per acre in the Foremost area, and others in the mid-40s with light weight and higher protein levels. General harvest will start at the end of the week and there should not be many surprises on the upside. The only positive is that the Lethbridge feed market is trading at CA$240/tonne for August, giving the farmers opportunity to move their barley and avoid having to store it.

• Central and northern region (Olds, Camrose, Edmonton, Leduc): Both regions are suffering from too much rain and low daytime temperatures, which is slowing crop development. Both regions have the potential to produce above average yields, but the rain must cease and the warm weather has to move into the area. Again this week the forecast is for low daytime temperatures and some additional precipitation. The barley crops would be harmed if there is frost before the first week of September.

• Peace region (Grand Prairie, Fairview): The region has had variable weather with some areas receiving good rainfall and others dry. Crop development has been compromised due to the lower seasonal temperatures and they will have to escape the August freeze. Crops will need into the first ten to fifteen days of September without frost to avoid any quality issues.


Barley harvest is slowly beginning and the early results are positive, with low proteins ranging from 10.4% to 12% in the Nipawin area, while the plumps have all been over 90%. Some results in the Yorkton area had proteins registering from slightly below 10% up to 13%.

For most regions harvest is still a few weeks from starting. The need to escape any frost issues is paramount to the quality of the barley crop. The other major weather issue is that there is a severe rain event that is to move through the province this Thursday, with precipitation ranging from 15-25 mm, which will delay farmers from starting to swath their barley crop. In addition to the rains is the forecast for low nighttime temperatures, there was some areas that registered 2-4°C, not conducive to drying down the barley crop.

Rains are not needed at this time – the fear is that extended rainfall over the next few weeks would be a disaster to the barley crop, causing chitting and mold issues. Overall the crop potential appears to be good for the northern region of the province, however warm dry weather is what the crop needs over the next few weeks.


There was some harvest activity but most of the barley that came off was tough and farmers have backed off. There is a rain system to cover most of the province later this week which will stall harvest. Some farmers will be anxiously trying to take off as much crop as possible before the rains. A combination of rains and low day temperatures does not promote good malt barley. Heat and dry weather is what is needed to start the barley harvest – the end of this week should be good days to combine.

22 August, 2019

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