Production of principal field crops

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November 2011 (final) (Previous release)

Production of all varieties of wheat at the national level increased from 2010, while canola production hit a record high, according to the third and final production estimates for 2011. In contrast, farmers reported a decline in both corn and soybean crops.

In the West, farmers reported that hot, sunny weather during the summer helped them recover from a damp and late spring in certain areas. Similarly, weather patterns in the East returned to normal after a particularly wet spring, especially in Quebec's Richelieu river valley.

Prairie canola production hits record high

Prairie farmers reported that canola production increased 10.7% from 2010 to a record 14.0 million tonnes. This was the result of a 9.1% increase in harvested acres to a high of 18.3 million acres, and a 1.5% increase in average yield.

Canola production reached new highs in both Alberta (5.3 million tonnes) and Saskatchewan (7.0 million tonnes), driven by record levels of harvested acres in both provinces and a record yield in Alberta.

On the other hand, canola production declined 25.3% in Manitoba, where farmers were unable to recover from early season flooding. This was the province's second consecutive decline in canola production.

Total wheat production increases

Nationally, total wheat production was up 9.0% or 2.1 million tonnes from 2010 to 25.3 million tonnes. Reported yield was 44.0 bushels per acre, up 5.5% from 2010.

Farmers reported record yields for wheat in both Alberta (49.1 bushels per acre) and Saskatchewan (38.6 bushels per acre). This drove total production up 9.0% to 8.9 million tonnes in Alberta and up 20.5% to 11.5 million tonnes in Saskatchewan.

A significant contributor to the overall production increase was durum wheat. Durum wheat production increased 36.4% in Saskatchewan to 3.6 million tonnes and 47.1% in Alberta to 620 500 tonnes. These increases followed substantial declines from 2009 to 2010.

Decline in soybeans and corn

Soybean production in Ontario, Quebec and Manitoba declined from record levels in 2010, primarily the result of lower yields. This occurred despite record harvested areas in both Manitoba and Quebec.

Ontario soybean production amounted to 3.0 million tonnes, a decline of 2.7% or 81 600 tonnes from the all-time high set in 2010. The decrease was the result of a 2.4% decline in yield to 44.9 bushels per acre.

Note to readers

The November farm survey of approximately 28,600 Canadian farmers was the final 2011 survey of crop production in Canada. The survey was conducted from October 24 to November 10. Farmers were asked to report their estimated area, yield and production of grains, oilseeds and special crops. These final 2011 estimates are subject to revision for two years.

In Quebec, soybean production declined 0.9% to 800 000 tonnes despite a record harvested area of 738 800 acres. The drop was the result of a 13.5% decline in average yield to 39.8 bushels per acre, compared with the record high of 46.0 bushels in 2010.

In Manitoba, farmers reported a record harvested area of soybeans for 2011. However, lower yields had an impact on production, which fell 5.0% to 413 700 tonnes.

With respect to corn for grain, Ontario production was down 6.6% or 508 100 tonnes from 2010 to 7.2 million tonnes. Quebec production was down 14.1% or 480 000 tonnes from 2010 to 2.9 million tonnes.

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: "November Estimates of Production of Principal Field Crops," Vol. 90, no. 8 (22-002-X, free), is now available from the Key resource module of our website under Publications.

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