Farm department lowers crop area due flooding
WINNIPEG, Manitoba (Reuters) - Canada's agriculture department has lowered its estimates of crop harvested areas, as flooding and excessive rain look to leave much land fallow this year.
Agriculture Canada released its grain and oilseed outlook, which is based on analysis not a farmer survey, late on Tuesday.
Severe wetness in southern areas of the Canadian Prairies, especially southeastern Saskatchewan and southwestern Manitoba, has brought planting to a standstill in some zones, with crop insurance deadlines falling between June 10 to 20.
Many areas will have more unplanted land than normal, the department said.
However, fallow areas will likely be smaller than last year and harvests of major crops are expected to be bigger, despite recent planting delays.
Agriculture Canada cut its harvested area estimate for all-wheat to 9.26 million hectares (22.9 million acres) from May's forecast of 9.57 million hectares (23.6 million acres). The harvested area would still be larger than last year, when wetness left the biggest unplanted area in decades, and will produce a 2011 crop of 25.5 million tonnes, the department said.
Canola harvested area falls to 7.316 million hectares (18.1 million acres) from May's estimate of 7.643 million hectares (18.9 million acres), producing a crop of 12.7 million tonnes.
Agriculture Canada's production estimates assume normal precipitation, quality and yields.
Oat harvested area drops to 1.2 million hectares (3 million acres) from 1.25 million (3.1 million acres), producing 3.35 million tonnes.
Ag Canada also reduced harvested area for barley and durum and forecast crops of 8.6 million tonnes and 4.5 million tonnes respectively.
(Reporting by Rod Nickel; Editing by John Picinich)
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