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Stocks of principal field crops, March 31, 2015

Released: 2015-05-06

As of March 31, total stocks of wheat, canola, corn for grain, barley and oats had returned to levels comparable to those seen in the years prior to 2014 at the same date, as 2014 stocks at March 31 reflected a bumper harvest from 2013. Meanwhile, total stocks of soybeans increased from one year earlier.

Total wheat stocks decreased 25.1% from the same date a year earlier to 16.7 million tonnes on March 31. This decline was driven by stocks held on farms, which were down 31.4% to 12.3 million tonnes, while commercial stocks remained relatively stable, up 1.0% to 4.4 million tonnes. Provincially, Saskatchewan farm stocks declined 34.7% to 6.4 million tonnes, while stocks held on Alberta farms were down 20.5% from the 2014 record to 4.4 million tonnes.

Total canola stocks fell 18.9% from the March 31 record high set in 2014 to 7.0 million tonnes. Canola stocks held on farms were down 25.6% from the same date a year earlier to 5.4 million tonnes. On-farm stocks in both Saskatchewan (-31.2%) and Alberta (-17.7%) fell from their 2014 record levels. Commercial stocks rose 17.5% from the same date a year earlier to a record 1.6 million tonnes on March 31, 2015.

Following a 19.1% production decrease in 2014, total stocks of corn for grain at March 31, 2015, posted a similar decline, down 18.9% to 6.5 million tonnes. The overall drop was split between stocks held on farms, which fell 18.9% to 4.9 million tonnes, and commercial stocks, which decreased 19.2% to 1.6 million tonnes.

Overall soybean stocks were up 45.4% from March 31, 2014, to a record high 2.1 million tonnes. Stocks held on farms increased 12.2% to 1.1 million tonnes, reflecting the 12.9% production increase in 2014. Meanwhile, commercial stocks more than doubled (+121.6%) compared with the same date in 2014, to a record high 953 000 tonnes.

Total stocks of barley declined by 23.4% to 3.4 million tonnes as of March 31, 2015. This decrease was the result of declines in both on-farm stocks (-23.6%) and commercial stocks (-22.1%).

Total stocks of oats were down 27.2% to 1.6 million tonnes as of March 31, 2015. On-farm stocks drove the overall decline, falling 29.1%.

  Note to readers

The March Farm Survey of 11,500 farmers concerning, among other topics, stocks of principal field crops, was conducted from March 18 to March 31, 2015. Farmers were asked to report the amounts of grain, oilseeds and special crops in on-farm storage. Two additional questions were asked during the March Farm Survey pertaining to permanent on-farm grain storage capacity and the percentage of grain stored on farms using temporary storage methods.

Data on commercial stocks of western major crops originate from the Canadian Grain Commission (CGC). Starting August 1, 2013, however, the CGC changed its reporting to exclude "in transit" stocks from the total commercial stocks. With the current release, these "in-transit" stocks are now re-introduced retroactively.

Commercial stocks of corn and soybeans are estimated by a Statistics Canada sample of grain elevators in Eastern Canada. Data on commercial stocks of special crops originate from a survey of handlers and agents of special crops.

National supply-disposition tables for the major grains and special crops are published jointly with the current release on stocks levels.

Stocks data are subject to revision during the two years following their initial publication. Revisions are published in the July stocks report, which is released in September.

Release calendar: The dates for upcoming releases from the Field Crop Reporting Series are available online.

Table CANSIM table001-0040: Stocks of grain and oilseeds at March 31, July 31 and December 31.

Table CANSIM table001-0041: Supply and disposition of grains in Canada as of March 31, July 31, August 31 (soybeans only) and December 31.

Table CANSIM table001-0042: Supply and disposition of corn in Canada and selected provinces as of March 31, August 31 and December 31.

Table CANSIM table001-0043: Farm supply and disposition of grains as of March 31, July 31, August 31 (soybeans only) and December 31.

Table CANSIM table001-0010: Estimated areas, yield, production and average farm price of principal field crops, in metric units.

Table CANSIM table001-0017: Estimated areas, yield, production, average farm price and total farm value of principal field crops, in imperial units.

Definitions, data sources and methods: survey numbers survey number3401, survey number3403, survey number3404, survey number3443, survey number3464, survey number3476, survey number5046 and survey number5153.

Contact information

For more information, or to enquire about the concepts, methods or data quality of this release, contact us (toll-free 1-800-263-1136; 514-283-8300; infostats@statcan.gc.ca) or Media Relations (613-951-4636; mediahotline@statcan.gc.ca).

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