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Production of principal field crops, July 2015

Released: 2015-08-21

Canadian farmers expect wheat and canola production in 2015 to continue to fall from 2013 record levels, while other major grains, like corn, barley and oats, are reported to increase from 2014 to 2015. Soybean production is predicted to decrease slightly in 2015, after setting consecutive record highs since 2009.

At the time of the survey, many Alberta and Saskatchewan farmers reported that excessively dry growing conditions were affecting yields and harvestable area.

Wheat

At the national level, total wheat production is expected to reach 24.6 million tonnes in 2015, down 15.9% from 2014 and well below the 37.5 million tonne harvest of 2013.

This anticipated decrease in production is the result of a lower average yield of 38.1 bushels per acre in 2015, down 17.2% from 46.0 bushels per acre in 2014. Harvested acreage, in turn, went up 1.7% compared with 2014.

Farmers in both Alberta and Saskatchewan expect total wheat production to decline. Alberta farmers anticipate a 23.6% wheat production decrease from 2014 to 7.1 million tonnes, the result of a 23.6% drop in average yield to 39.5 bushels per acre. Saskatchewan farmers anticipate production to total 11.2 million tonnes, down 20.8% from 14.2 million tonnes in 2014.

In contrast, Manitoba wheat production is expected to rise 17.8% from 2014 to 4.3 million tonnes, mainly because of a 15.0% increase in harvested area to 3.2 million acres. Average yield is expected to rise 2.5% to 49.9 bushels per acre.

Canola

Canadian farmers anticipate producing 13.3 million tonnes of canola in 2015, down 14.2% from 2014, mostly the result of a 12.8% decrease in average yield to 30.0 bushels per acre.

In Alberta, farmers anticipate canola production to fall 27.2% to 4.0 million tonnes. This decline results from a 21.6% decrease in anticipated average yield to 29.4 bushels per acre, as well as a 7.0% drop in harvested area to 6.0 million acres.

In Saskatchewan, canola production is expected to reach 6.7 million tonnes, down 12.4% from 2014. This decline is mainly due to a 12.1% decrease in average yield to 28.4 bushels per acre, as harvested acres were virtually unchanged from 2014.

In comparison, Manitoba farmers are expecting canola production to rise 10.3% from 2014 to 2.6 million tonnes. Increases are anticipated in both harvested acres (+5.8% to 3.1 million acres) and average yield (+4.3% to 36.3 bushels per acre).

Soybeans

For the first time since 2007, national soybean production is expected to decrease in 2015. Anticipated production was reported at 5.9 million tonnes, down 3.2% from 2014.

In Ontario, soybean production is anticipated to decrease 10.0% to 3.4 million tonnes in 2015, down from the 2014 record high of 3.8 million tonnes. Both harvested area (-4.6%) and average yield (-5.7%) are expected to decline to 2.9 million acres and 42.9 bushels per acre respectively.

In Manitoba, soybean production in 2015 is anticipated to reach a record high of 1.2 million tonnes, up 12.3% from 2014. A combination of increases in harvested area (+4.8% to 1.3 million acres) and yield (+7.1% to 34.6 bushels per acre) would be behind the gain.

Quebec farmers expect a 3.0% increase in soybean production to a record high 925 000 tonnes. They reported a 13.2% increase in average yield to 43.8 bushels per acre, while the harvested area is expected to decrease 9.0% to 775,900 acres.

Corn for grain

At the national level, corn for grain production is expected to increase 7.2% to 12.3 million tonnes in 2015. This is 13.3% below the record of 14.2 million tonnes set in 2013.

Ontario farmers anticipate the production of corn for grain to reach 8.2 million tonnes, up 7.4% from 2014. A 9.4% increase in harvested area is the major contributor to this expected production increase, as the average yield is expected to decline 1.9% to 157.9 bushels per acre.

In Quebec, farmers anticipate production of this crop to rise 10.3% to 3.3 million tonnes, as a result of anticipated increases in harvested area (+2.8% to 897,000 acres) and average yield (+7.3% to 146.6 bushels per acre).

In Manitoba, production of corn for grain is expected to be 660 400 tonnes, down 5.1% from 2014. Despite an expected 3.4% increase in average yield to 115.6 bushels per acre, the 8.2% year-over-year decline in harvested area is anticipated to lead to lower production.

Barley and oats

Nationally, barley production is anticipated to rise 2.6% to 7.3 million tonnes in 2015. This result is attributable to an 8.0% increase in expected harvested area to 5.7 million acres, as the average yield is anticipated to decline 5.0% to 58.8 bushels per acre.

Canadian farmers expect oat production to increase 13.9% to 3.3 million tonnes. This increase reflects a 20.0% rise in expected harvested area to 2.7 million acres, as average yield is anticipated to decline 5.0% to 79.4 bushels per acre.


  Note to readers

The July Farm Survey of crop production covering about 13,000 Canadian farms was conducted from July 22 to August 3, 2015. Farmers were asked to report their estimated area, yield and production of grains, oilseeds and special crops.

Farm surveys collect data from Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta for all six survey cycles during the crop year (from March to November). However, data are collected twice a year (in the June Farm survey on seeded areas and in the November Farm survey on final crop production) for Newfoundland and Labrador, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and British Columbia, which represent between 2% and 4% of national totals.

As of July 2014 for these provinces, July and September production estimates are calculated using the final estimates of the last three crop years. The harvested area is first estimated based on the ratio obtained from the sum of harvested areas of the last three years over the sum of the seeded areas of the last three years. This average ratio is applied to their current year's seeded acreage from the June survey. This harvested area is then multiplied by the average yield of the last three years to estimate production.

Final production estimates for 2015 will be released on December 4 and are subject to revision for two years.

On September 17, Statistics Canada will release modelled yield and production estimates for field crops in Canada, derived from remote sensing, survey and agroclimatic data sources.

Auxiliary data source: Readers are invited to visit the Crop Condition Assessment Program web application, which is an additional tool to assess growing conditions of field crops during the crop year. Readers can monitor a vegetation index of crop land on a weekly basis.

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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