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Production of principal field crops, July 2017

Released: 2017-08-31

According to the July farm survey on field crop production, Canadian farmers reported that they expect production of soybeans, oats and corn for grain to increase in 2017, while wheat, barley and canola crops are anticipated to decline.

Very dry conditions in southern parts of the Prairies have played a role in the production expectations reported for selected crops in the July farm survey (see map).

Wheat

Canadian farmers expect wheat production to decrease in most provinces in 2017. Nationally, total wheat production is anticipated at 25.5 million tonnes, down 19.5% compared with 2016. Although harvested area should remain stable at 22.0 million acres, the drop can be traced to a projected lower average yield of 42.5 bushels per acre, down 20.1% from the 53.2 bushels per acre reported in 2016.

Farmers in Saskatchewan anticipate wheat production to decrease 29.9% from 2016 to 10.2 million tonnes. This is mainly attributable to a 28.8% decline in anticipated average yield to 33.7 bushels per acre, as harvested area should only be down 1.7% from 2016. Similarly, producers in Alberta expect an 18.3% fall in average yield to 47.4 bushels per acre, resulting in an anticipated 9.1% decrease in total wheat production to 9.0 million tonnes.

Manitoba farmers expect a decline in wheat production to 3.6 million tonnes (-14.3%), driven by a lower anticipated harvested area of 2.7 million acres (-8.5%), and a 6.4% decrease in average yield to 49.7 bushels per acre. In Ontario, total wheat production (derived from winter wheat, mainly) is anticipated to decrease 10.6% from 2016 to 2.3 million tonnes.

Canola

Canadian farmers anticipate producing 18.2 million tonnes of canola in 2017, down 7.1% from 2016. While harvested area is expected to rise to 22.8 million acres, lower average yields in Alberta and Saskatchewan are likely to contribute to the national decline in production.

Saskatchewan farmers are expecting canola production to fall 13.7% from 2016 to 9.2 million tonnes in 2017, despite a substantial increase in area seeded in 2017. The decrease in production is entirely due to the average yield declining 23.8% from 2016 to 32.3 bushels per acre.

In Alberta, canola harvested area is reported at a record 6.9 million acres, up 17.9% from 2016. However, farmers anticipate the average yield to fall 16.6% to 38.7 bushels per acre. Ultimately, canola production is anticipated to decrease 1.6% from a year earlier to 6.1 million tonnes in 2017.

Meanwhile, Manitoba farmers are expecting canola production to increase 6.5% from 2016 to 2.8 million tonnes in 2017.

Corn for grain

At the national level, Canadian farmers expect corn for grain production to increase 3.4% to 13.6 million tonnes in 2017, despite a 3.3% decrease in average yield to 153.4 bushels per acres. The anticipated production increase is attributable to a 7.0% rise in harvested area to 3.5 million acres.

Ontario farmers anticipate corn for grain production to reach 8.6 million tonnes, up 6.3% from 2016. This is the result of anticipated increases in harvested area (+4.2% to 2.1 million acres) and average yield (+2.0% to 161.6 bushels per acre).

Quebec farmers expect corn for grain production to decline 6.6% from the previous year to 3.5 million tonnes. Despite an anticipated 5.0% increase in harvested area, an 11.1% decline in yield would lead to this production decline.

Map 1  Thumbnail for map 1: Vegetation growth index as of July 24 to 30, 2017 (during survey collection), compared with the last 30-year avearage, by census consolidated subdivisions
Vegetation growth index as of July 24 to 30, 2017 (during survey collection), compared with the last 30-year avearage, by census consolidated subdivisions

Conversely, Manitoba farmers expect record corn for grain production, up 9.8% from 2016 to 1.3 million tonnes in 2017. This is mainly the result of a harvested area anticipated to increase to a record 405,000 acres (+22.7%), as average yield is expected to fall 10.5% to 124.7 bushels per acre.

Soybeans

Nationally, Canadian farmers expect soybean production to reach another record high in 2017, up 19.8% from 2016 to 7.7 million tonnes as a result of a projected 34.6% increase in harvested area. The record high is anticipated despite an average yield that is expected to decrease 10.9% from 2016 to 39.3 bushels per acres.

In Ontario, soybean harvested area is expected to rise 13.3% to 3.1 million acres, while the average yield is expected to decline 2.8% to 44.6 bushels per acre in 2017. As a result, Ontario farmers anticipate a 10.2% increase in production to 3.7 million tonnes.

In Manitoba, farmers expect record soybean production for a sixth consecutive year, up 27.0% from 2016 to 2.2 million tonnes in 2017. This would be entirely due to a harvested area expected to rise to a record 2.3 million acres (+44.8%), since average yield is reported at 36.2 bushels per acre, 12.3% lower than in 2016.

In Saskatchewan, where soybean harvested area more than tripled in 2017 (to 845,000 acres), farmers expect production to reach 547 000 tonnes. Quebec producers anticipate a 10.6% production increase to 1.2 million tonnes in 2017.

Barley and oats

Canadian farmers expect barley production to fall 17.9% to 7.2 million tonnes in 2017. This decline is expected to be the result of a 4.6% decrease in harvested area to 5.2 million acres, combined with a 13.9% drop in average yield to 63.2 bushels per acre.

Canadian farmers expect oat production to rise 15.3% from 2016 to 3.7 million tonnes. This is a result of a harvested area expected to rise to 2.7 million acres, as national average yield is anticipated to decline 2.6% to 90.0 bushels per acre.


  Note to readers

This release provides the preliminary production estimates for 2017, as well as revised production data for 2016 if applicable. The estimates are derived from the July Farm Survey of crop production covering about 13,300 Canadian farms. The survey was conducted from July 19 to August 1, 2017. 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 five survey cycles during the crop year (from March to December). 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 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 2017 will be released on December 6, 2017, and are subject to revision for two years.

On September 19, 2017, Statistics Canada will release modelled yield and production estimates for field crops in Canada. These data are 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; STATCAN.infostats-infostats.STATCAN@canada.ca) or Media Relations (613-951-4636; STATCAN.mediahotline-ligneinfomedias.STATCAN@canada.ca).

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