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Unfavorable weather damages wheat quality and volumes in Canada

By Anna Bonar+

08-Aug-2014
Last updated on 08-Aug-2014 at 13:30 GMT2014-08-08T13:30:33Z

Excess moisture and cooler weather has reduced protein levels in Canada winter wheat and hit cereal crop volumes, says the executive director of Winter Cereals Canada.

Canada’s fall seed cereals had been in constant trouble for the entire season, said Jake Davidson.

"A large area of Western Canada that produces fall seeded crops like winter wheat, fall rye and winter triticale was subject this year to weather conditions that were not favorable," Davidson told BakeryandSnacks.com

Wheat protein and cereal volume woes

The cooler weather had resulted in lower protein in the winter wheat crop, he said. 

“Canada has a grade factor linked to protein and there may be less #1 (grade number one) available; this may also have an effect on flour quality and baking performance."

Canada's winter wheat was used in products like steam buns, flat breads and noodles.

In addition to lower protein levels, excessive moisture had contributed to losses in acreage of wheat, rye and triticale leading to a drop in volumes, Davidson said. 

“For example in Manitoba we target 600,000 acres and the last report is we will only have 385,000.” 

Western Canada under water

It all started with last fall’s late harvest which saw fewer acres of cereal seeds being planted. Then abundant snow cover influenced the quality of the crops as a significant amount of fusarium was showing up.

“Spring came late and the melt was slower than average and crop growth was delayed because of the lack of heat.

“Then in Manitoba and Saskatchewan in late June and early July we had excessive rainfall that flooded hundreds of thousands of acres of crops, both fall and spring seeded.  In Manitoba many areas are still under water,” added Davidson.

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