The first production forecast for 2018 is 3.62 billion pounds, up 16 percent from the 2017 production of 3.12 billion pounds. If realized, this will be the largest production on record for the United States. Area planted, at 1.99 million acres, is down 3 percent from the June estimate and down 4 percent from last year’s record high area. Canola farmers expect to harvest 1.94 million acres, down 4 percent from June and down 3 percent from 2017. If realized, harvested area for the Nation will be the second largest on record. The October yield forecast, at a record high 1,864 pounds per acre, is 306 pounds above last year’s yield. If realized, the yield forecast in Idaho, North Dakota, and Washington will be the highest on record since the published data series began for those States.
The yield in North Dakota, the largest canola-producing State, is forecast at 1,920 pounds per acre, up 290 pounds from last year’s yield. Planted area in North Dakota is estimated at 1.59 million acres, unchanged from last year’s record high. Planting of the canola crop in North Dakota was generally behind last year’s pace, and didn’t catch up to the 5-year average until near the end of May. Blooming of the canola crop began in early June behind both last year’s pace and the 5-year average pace. By July 1, blooming of the canola crop had advanced ahead of both last year’s pace and the 5-year average pace. Maturation of the crop remained mostly ahead of both last year’s pace and the 5-year average pace for the remainder of the growing season and harvest was underway by early August. Harvest progress reached 91 percent complete by September 23, three percentage points behind last year but 2 percentage points ahead of the 5-year average. Ninety-four percent of the crop was harvested by September 30.