Stocks of principal field crops

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December 31, 2011 (Previous release)

As of December 31, 2011, total stocks of most principal field crops, including commercial and on-farm inventories, were down compared with the same date in 2010.

Despite record production of canola in 2011, up 10.9% from 2010, total stocks declined for the second consecutive year, down 1.5% to 9.3 million metric tonnes. This decline was the result of a 2.4% decline in on-farm stocks, which more than offset a slight increase in commercial stocks.

On-farm stocks of all types of wheat fell 4.0% to 16.3 million tonnes. However, commercial stocks increased 20.9% to 4.7 million tonnes. As a result, total stocks edged up 0.6% from December 31, 2010, to just under 21.0 million tonnes, despite a 9.0% increase in wheat production in 2011. The decline in on-farm stocks at the national level was the result of a decrease in on-farm storage in Saskatchewan and significant declines in production and on-farm storage in Manitoba.

Total stocks of corn for grain fell 4.0% to 8.6 million tonnes in tandem with a decline in production in 2011. However, on-farm stocks rose 1.5% to 6.8 million tonnes, the result of a 4.9% increase in on-farm stocks in Ontario, where they reached a record high.

Total stocks of oats fell 14.5% to 2.0 million tonnes, driven primarily by a 14.2% decrease in on-farm stocks. These declines occurred despite a 20.9% increase in oats production in 2011. Similarly, on-farm stocks of barley declined 9.6%, despite a 2.0% rise in production in 2011. Consequently, total stocks were down 10.8% to 5.1 million tonnes from levels at December 31, 2010. For both barley and oats, declines in total stocks have been recorded for the last three years.

For soybeans, total stocks rose 0.6% to 2.6 million tonnes, while production decreased 2.3% in 2011. On-farm stocks increased 20.2% to 1.8 million tonnes. This increase was driven by record on-farm storage levels of 1.1 million tonnes in Ontario. Meanwhile, commercial stocks fell 26.9% to 770 000 tonnes, their lowest level since 2003.

Note: The December Farm Survey of 10,560 Canadian farmers is a survey of stocks of principal field crops conducted from January 3 to 10, 2012. Farmers were asked to report the amounts of grain, oilseeds and special crops in on-farm storage. Data on commercial stocks of western major crops originate from the Canadian Grain Commission.

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 marketing agents of special crops.

National supply-disposition tables for the major grains and special crops are included in this report and will be included in future production and stock reports. Methodology details are published annually in the October issue of Cereals and Oilseeds Review (22-007-X, free).

Available without charge in 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, 3403, 3443, 3464 and 3476.

The publication Field Crop Reporting Series: "Stocks of Principal Field Crops at December 31, 2011", Vol. 91, no. 1 (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 Yves Gilbert (613-951-2577;, Craig Byrd (613-951-5138; or Sheila Young (613-951-8707;, Agriculture Division.