October 2, 2008

Record Canola Harvest Forecast

Canadian farmers expect to harvest 10.9 million tons of canola, smashing last year's 9.5-million-ton record, Canada's statistics bureau said Thursday.

The increase is up from Statistics Canada's August forecast of a 10.4-million-ton harvest, with production increasing largely as a result of an above-average yield of 30.6 bushels of rapeseed per acre.

Canola oil is extracted from rapeseed, an oilseed plant with roots in ancient civilization. The word "rape" in rapeseed comes from the Latin word "rapum," meaning turnip.

Separately, Statistics Canada said Thursday wheat production, excluding durum, or macaroni, wheat, was expected to be up 35.6 percent over 2007's yield.

In Eastern Canada, Quebec farmers anticipate a record production of 615,000 tons of soybeans, the bureau said.

When the September farm survey was conducted, crop maturity and the fall harvest in the West were delayed by cool conditions and excess moisture, the bureau said.

Harvest conditions were most advanced in southern regions, but they improved considerably in most areas after the survey was completed, the bureau said.