The first production forecast for 2012 is 2.48 billion pounds, up 62 percent from 2011 and will be the largest production on record, if realized. Area planted, at a record high 1.77 million acres, is up 9 percent from the June estimate and up 65 percent from last year. Canola farmers expect to harvest a record high 1.74 million acres, up 9 percent from June and up 67 percent from 2011.
The October yield forecast, at 1,430 pounds per acre, is 45 pounds below last year's yield. The yield in North Dakota, the largest canola-producing State, is forecast at 1,420 pounds per acre, down 80 pounds from last year's yield. Planted area in North Dakota is estimated at a record high 1.46 million acres, an increase of 70 percent from 2011.
An unusually warm and dry spring this year prompted an early start to planting and rapid crop development. Maturation of the crop remained ahead of normal throughout the growing season and harvest began early. By September 9, ninety-eight percent of the crop in North Dakota was harvested, more than 30 percentage points ahead of last year and the 5-year average.