Flooding Out Canola Production

USDA revises projections, acreage down
By Erin Voegele | September 08, 2011

While canola oil is gaining traction as both a biodiesel feedstock and edible oil, the vast majority of the U.S. crop is grown in North Dakota and Minnesota, where this year’s flooding has affected crop production.


The U.S. Canola Association estimates that approximately 90 percent of crops grown in the U.S. are planted in these two states. USDA statistics show a decrease in the acres of the canola planted and harvested this year compared to last year, and significant spring and summer flooding events in the Northern Plains have clearly played a role in this year’s reduced production.


According to the USDA, the area of planted canola in 2011 is estimated at 1.09 million acres, which is down 4 percent from the department’s June estimates, and a 25 percent reduction when compared to last year’s statistics. The area for harvest has been forecasted at 1.07 million areas, which is also 4 percent down from June’s report. Planted area in North Dakota is currently estimated to be 890,000 acres. This is a 5 percent reduction from June estimates and a 30 percent reduction when compared to 2010.


“Excessively wet spring weather conditions prevented canola growers from planting the intended 1.4 million acres forecast earlier this year in the March 30 Projected Plantings Report,” said the Northern Canola Growers Association in a release reacting to the new USDA figures. “Tight supplies of canola are expected to result in continued strong demand for canola.”


—Erin Voegele

 
 
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