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Production of principal field crops, September 2015

Released: 2015-10-02

Farmers expect production of wheat, canola and soybeans to be lower in 2015 compared with 2014. Soybean production is anticipated to fall for the first time since 2007. Meanwhile, corn, barley and oats are expected to see an increase in output.

Wheat

Total Canadian wheat production is expected to fall by 11.4% from 2014 to 26.1 million tonnes. This overall decline results from a reported 12.4% decrease in average yield, from 46.1 bushels per acre in 2014 to 40.4 bushels per acre in 2015. Meanwhile, harvested area is expected to rise by 1.2% to 23.7 million acres in 2015.

Saskatchewan farmers anticipate wheat production to fall 15.3% to 12.0 million tonnes. Average yield is anticipated to be 34.5 bushels per acre, down from 40.5 bushels per acre in 2014. Harvested area is reported to remain at 12.8 million acres.

Alberta farmers also anticipate lower wheat production (-17.8%) in 2015, at 7.7 million tonnes, while Manitoba farmers are reporting a 14.7% increase from 2014 to 4.4 million tonnes.

Canola

Nationally, canola production is anticipated to decline 12.9% from 2014 to 14.3 million tonnes. The decrease in production is attributable to both a lower expected average yield, down 8.3% to 32.2 bushels per acre, and fewer harvested acres (-5.0%).

Farmers in Saskatchewan expect a 6.1% decline in yield in 2015, as well as fewer harvested acres (-2.8%). As a result, production is anticipated to fall 8.7% to 7.3 million tonnes.

Alberta farmers expect production to decline 24.9% to 4.4 million tonnes in 2015. This is the result of an anticipated decline in yield from 38.0 bushels per acre in 2014 to 32.0 bushels per acre in 2015 and a 10.8% drop in lower harvested area to 6.0 million acres.

Canola production in Manitoba is expected to reach 2.5 million tonnes, matching the output from 2014. Harvested area is also anticipated to be unchanged in 2015 at 3.1 million acres. Average yield is reported at 36.3 bushels per acre, slightly ahead of the yield of 36.0 bushels per acre in 2014.

Soybeans

Canadian farmers reported that soybean production could fall 2.0% to 5.9 million tonnes in 2015, following seven consecutive years of record highs. The decrease in production reflects a 2.3% decline in harvested area.

Production in Ontario is expected to decrease 9.1% to 3.4 million tonnes compared with 2014. Declines are anticipated in both harvested area (-4.4%) and average yield (-4.8%). At the time of the survey, harvested area was reported at 2.9 million acres and yield at 43.3 bushels per acre.

Soybean production in Manitoba is reported at 1.3 million tonnes, up 14.0% over 2014 levels. This advance results from an expected 4.8% increase in harvested area to 1.3 million acres and a 9.0% gain in average yield to 35.2 bushels per acre.

Quebec farmers expect output will increase 4.0% to 933 500 tonnes in 2015. This is the result of an anticipated 14.0% gain in average yield to 44.1 bushels per acre, as harvested area is expected to decrease 8.8% to 777,100 acres.

Corn for grain

National production of corn for grain is expected to increase 6.2% from 2014 to 12.2 million tonnes in 2015.

In Ontario, farmers expect to harvest 2.0 million acres of corn for grain, up 9.7% from 2014. Consequently, production is expected to increase 7.3% to 8.2 million tonnes.

Quebec farmers expect harvested area of corn for grain to increase 2.8% to 897,000 acres. The average yield is expected to rise 6.4% to 145.3 bushels per acre. As a result, production is anticipated to increase 9.3% to 3.3 million tonnes compared with 2014.

Conversely, in Manitoba, production of corn for grain is expected to be 584 200 tonnes, down 16.1% from 2014. Declines are anticipated in both harvested area (-14.3%) and average yield (-2.1%).

Barley and oats

Farmers in Canada expect barley production to rise 6.9% from 2014 to 7.6 million tonnes. This increase is the result of a 10.6% gain in harvested area to 5.8 million acres, as the average yield is anticipated to decrease from 61.9 bushels per acre in 2014 to 59.9 bushels per acre in 2015. The decrease in the national average yield can be tied to Alberta's reported 10.3% decline in average bushels per acre, as Alberta production accounts for 51% of total expected Canadian barley production in 2015.

At the national level, oats production is expected to rise 10.5% to 3.3 million tonnes. This gain is attributable to a 17.8% increase in harvested area to 2.7 million acres, as average yield is expected to decrease 6.2% to 79.0 bushels per acre. Saskatchewan, which is projected to account for 56% of Canada's oat production in 2015, is expected to lead the gain.


  Note to readers

The September Farm Survey of crop production covering about 9,300 Canadian farms was conducted from September 3 to 13, 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.

Percentage changes are calculated using unrounded data.

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.

Model-based principal field crop estimates

On September 17, 2015, Statistics Canada released for the first time model-based principal field crop estimates following a methodology that differs significantly from the survey based approach presented in this release. This difference in methodology is one of several factors that explain the variation in some of the field crop estimates. The timing of the estimates is another important element, as farming conditions evolve and change throughout the crop cycle.

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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