Principal field crops

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July 2011 (preliminary) (Previous release)

Prairie farmers anticipate a record harvest of canola, as well as higher volumes of barley, oats and wheat compared with 2010. Farmers in Ontario and Quebec anticipate a smaller crop of corn for grain in 2011.

In the West, farmers reported that recent hot, sunny weather may temper production losses that had been anticipated earlier because of a damp, late spring with persistent wet conditions in many areas.

In Ontario and Quebec, hot, dry conditions with random precipitation had farmers concerned about crop yields for both grain corn and soybeans in 2011.

Anticipated wheat production up

Total wheat production on the Prairies is expected to reach 21.5 million metric tonnes, up from 21.0 million tonnes produced in 2010.

Farmers estimate their average yield will be 40.0 bushels per acre, the same as 2010. Harvested area is estimated at 19.8 million acres, up 2.6%.

Saskatchewan and Alberta farmers expect increased production of wheat in 2011. In Manitoba, however, farmers anticipate a 30.3% decline (-988 600 tonnes) to 2.3 million tonnes, the result of adverse weather conditions.

Potential record production for canola

Prairie farmers expect canola production will increase 10.9% to a record 13.0 million tonnes. This would be the result of a record area to be harvested of 17.8 million acres and a strong yield of 32.3 bushels per acre.

In Saskatchewan, farmers anticipate a potential record production of 6.5 million tonnes. This would be the result of a record area to be harvested of 9.2 million acres, an increase of 1.8 million acres from 2010.

Alberta farmers expect to produce a record 4.8 million tonnes of canola, up 6.1% from 2010. Farmers predict a record area to be harvested of 6.0 million acres, up 10.2% from 2010.

Note to readers

The July Farm Survey of 15,200 Canadian farmers is a preliminary survey of crop production in Canada. The survey was conducted from July 25 to August 2, 2011. Farmers were asked to report their estimated area, yield and production of grains, oilseeds and special crops.

Final production estimates for 2011 will be released on December 6, 2011 and subject to revision for two years.

Auxiliary data source

As an additional tool to assess the growing conditions of Canadian field crops during the crop year, readers are invited to visit the Crop Condition Assessment Program web application, where a vegetation index of the crop land can be monitored weekly.

However, in Manitoba, farmers anticipate canola production could fall 21.7% to 1.7 million tonnes in 2011, the result of decreases in both expected yield and area to be harvested.

Production gains expected for barley and oats

Barley production on the Prairies is expected to rise 11.1% to 7.7 million tonnes in 2011. Yields are expected to increase 7.3% to 63.6 bushels per acre. Farmers anticipate harvesting 5.6 million acres, up 200,000 acres from 2010.

Farmers in Saskatchewan and Alberta anticipate increased production of barley, whereas farmers in Manitoba could see a decline as result of a reduced area to be harvested.

Prairie oats production is expected to rise 31.9% to 2.5 million tonnes in 2011. Farmers anticipate yields will increase by 4.1 bushels per acre from 2010 to an average of 77.4 bushels per acre.

Saskatchewan farmers are accounting for all the increase, as their counterparts in Alberta and Manitoba expect lower volumes of oats in 2011.

Ontario and Quebec farmers expect declines in corn for grain and soybeans

In Quebec, total corn for grain production is anticipated to be 2.9 million tonnes, down 13.8% (-470 000 tonnes) from 3.4 million tonnes in 2010. This drop would be the result of an expected decline in yield of 19.3 bushels per acre from 2010.

In Ontario, production estimates for corn for grain are expected to decrease 14.8% to 6.6 million tonnes, the result of an anticipated decline in yield of 25.0 bushels per acre. The harvested area is expected to be virtually unchanged from 2010 at 1.9 million acres.

Soybean production in Canada is expected to decline 11.1% to just under 3.9 million tonnes. Quebec and Ontario account for roughly 90% of total soybean production.

Available on CANSIM: tables 001-0004, 001-0010, 001-0017 to 001-0020 and 001-0040 to 001-0043.

Definitions, data sources and methods: survey numbers, including related surveys, 3401 and 3465.

The publication Field Crop Reporting Series: "July 31 Estimates of Production of Principal Field Crops," Vol. 90, no. 5 (22-002-X, free), is now available from the Key resource module of our website under Publications.

The stocks of principal field crops at July 31 will be released on September 7.

For further information, or to enquire about the concepts, methods or data quality of this release, contact Yves Gilbert (613-951-2577; yves.gilbert@statcan.gc.ca) or Craig Byrd (613-951-5138; craig.byrd@statcan.gc.ca), Agriculture Division.