National Agroclimate Risk Report

As of November 7, 2023

This report provides timely information on the regional agroclimate conditions, risks, and impacts across Canada. This is the final report for the 2023 growing season. Reporting will resume in spring 2024.

National overview

With harvest across the country near complete, the most significant climate-related agricultural risk continues to be severe drought conditions and associated impacts across Western Canada. Large regions of Western Canada remain in Severe to Extreme drought going into winter, which has decreased livestock feed, reduced surface water supplies, and increased the risk of erosion.

Abnormally dry and warm conditions across the prairies resulted in pasture deterioration, poor soil moisture, water supply concerns and wildfires. The most significant drought impacts are in southern Alberta, western Saskatchewan and the central interior of British Columbia.

The winter (November to January) forecast is for warmer than normal temperatures (compared to 1980-2010 averages). Generally dry conditions are expected across the Prairies Region and above normal precipitation is forecast for parts of the Maritimes.

30 Day Precipitation Percentiles (October 7 to November 6, 2023)

Percentiles in past 30 days, as of November 6, 2023, map of Canada

Precipitation percentiles in past 30 days, as of November 6, 2023, high-resolution image (2 MB JPG) 

Over the last 30 days, Western Canada received below normal precipitation in central British Columbia, east central Alberta and west central Saskatchewan. Precipitation was above normal in parts of southwestern British Columbia and through much of southern Alberta. In Eastern Canada, precipitation was below normal in southeastern portions of Ontario and above normal in southwestern Quebec.

Canadian Drought Monitor (Conditions as of October 31, 2023)

Canadian Drought Monitor, conditions as of October 31, 2023, map of Canada

Canadian Drought Monitor, conditions as of October 31, 2023, high-resolution image (2 MB JPG)

Drought continues to cover a significant portion of Canada’s agricultural landscape, 66%, as the growing season comes to an end. In Western Canada, drought conditions have begun to improve with fall precipitation. However, moisture deficits remain high and drought associated impacts, including water and feed availability, remains a concern for many producers. Moderate to Exceptional Drought covers over 87% of Western Canada’s agricultural landscape

Regional Conditions

  • British Columbia
    • Agricultural areas generally improved over the reporting period. The province appears to be experiencing near normal conditions, with no sudden drops in temperature expected.
    • There is concern that the drought will continue throughout the winter, despite recent precipitation. Stream flow and surface water supplies have generally improved throughout much of the province. However, provincial drought rating systems still show significant concern.
    • Herd reductions have occurred to deal with feed and water shortages in the Prince George region, the Peace Region, and on Vancouver Island.
  • Alberta
    • Warm weather continued to allow for a rapid harvest and harvest was complete for the majority of crops, well ahead of the provincial 5 and 10 year averages.
    • Provincial yield estimates improved for major crops which are now estimated to be 96% of the 5 year average. However, there is significant differences with southern regions where yield estimates are well below average.
    • Warm weather and drought continue to pose a threat to water supplies across Alberta. Consecutive years of drought have caused concern about feed supply and maintaining herd size.
  • Saskatchewan
    • Harvest operations are complete across Saskatchewan. Additional precipitation will not improve the 2023 crops, but will positively affect soil moisture storage for the 2024 crop season and livestock activities.
    • Across the province, cropland topsoil and pasture soil moisture was rated as short/very short. There are many producers in southwest and west-central areas declaring some level of soil moisture shortage.
    • The hot and dry climate, crop damage due to grasshoppers, extreme weather events, and wildlife decreased yield potential in many parts of the province. The majority of the crops yielded below the 10 year average, except for winter wheat and hard-red spring wheat. Yields in the southwest and west-central regions were much lower than average.
    • Water shortages have had a negative impact on livestock, causing producers to haul in water and bring in cattle early for winter.
  • Manitoba
    • There are no major weather conditions impacting agriculture production in Manitoba. Harvest is near complete ahead of the 5 year average.
    • Rainfall was variable throughout the growing season and regions that received timely rains saw improved yields. Soil moisture levels are variable throughout the province, with most areas showing optimal to wet conditions.
    • Livestock water supplies are adequate. However, significant snowfall is needed to replenish water sources. Dugouts were at 50 to 60% capacity going into the fall.
    • The haying and pasture season presented producers with a variety of challenges, with weather conditions contributing to early maturing forage crops. Fall precipitation has improved hayland and pasture soil moisture condition.
  • Ontario
    • Ontario experienced warmer temperatures in the month of October. Recent dry conditions in the east allowed harvest progress. However, western regions received significant precipitation over the reporting period.
    • Soybean and corn harvest is ongoing and may stretch into November. Yields are expected to be near to above average across the province.
    • The wheat crop was of higher quality than expected and approximately 500,000 tonnes of Ontario wheat will trade into Quebec this year.
    • Winter wheat planting for the 2024 crop is underway where soybeans have been harvested.
  • Quebec
    • Temperatures remained above normal for most of the reporting period. Frequent precipitation resulted in excess moisture conditions over the majority of southern Quebec.
    • The apple harvest is completed and the last of the vegetable crops are currently being harvested. Significant disease issues have been reported in squash and pumpkin crops.
    • According to a Union des producteurs agricoles (UPA) survey, crop damage in the horticulture sector was estimated up to $150 million, a drop of 32% in revenue. Many respondents detected fungal disease due to excess of moisture and this is predicted to have an impact on the 2024 season.
    • Parts of the province experienced an exceptionally difficult 2023 season, characterized by a cold spring, a very dry and hot June, followed by record high precipitation, hail and high winds in July.
  • Atlantic Region
    • A relatively dry October assisted with the harvest of soybeans and early grain corn, which are showing good quality with above-average yield. Average potato yields are expected with some variability across Prince Edward Island. Crops left to be harvested across the region include: late variety of potatoes, grain corn, soybeans, some vegetables, and cranberries.
    • The first heavy frost occurred on October 24th across many areas of the region which helped to accelerate dry down and decreased moisture content in soybeans and grain corn.
    • Wet weather over the growing season slowed crop development and delayed pollination as well as fertilizer application. While the weather has been favorable for harvesting, yields could be down by as much as 40%. Some growers in New Brunswick are reporting average crop yields, while others are seeing poor yields well below the cost of production.


  • The November forecast is for abnormally warm temperatures across much of Western Canada, particularly in British Columbia and western Alberta. Near normal temperatures are expected for much of Eastern Canada with the exception of New Brunswick where temperatures are forecast to be cooler than normal. Western British Columbia is forecast to receive above average precipitation in November, while below normal precipitation is expected from the eastern Prairie region across to Atlantic Canada.
  • The outlook through November, December, and January forecasts continued warmer than normal temperatures throughout Canada. Above-normal precipitation is forecast for Atlantic Canada while lower than normal precipitation is expected in the northern Prairie region.

This report was created with help from our network of Agroclimate Impact Reporter volunteers. Each month, they help us report on current conditions and weather-related risks to Canada's agriculture sector. Join the network if you are interested in becoming an Agroclimate Impact Reporter.