Stocks of principal field crops, as of March 31, 2012 

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As of March 31, total stocks of canola and wheat were down compared with the same date in 2011. Total stocks of corn for grain and soybeans increased to record levels.

Despite a record harvest of canola in 2011, total stocks stood at 4.3 million metric tonnes as of March 31, 2012, down 30.6% or 1.9 million tonnes from the same date in 2011. The drop was primarily in on-farm stocks, where levels fell by 1.7 million tonnes.

Total wheat stocks declined 8.4%, or 1.3 million tonnes, to 14.5 million tonnes. This decline occurred despite a 9.0% increase in the production of wheat in 2011. Commercial stocks increased 10.8% to 4.7 million tonnes, while on-farm stocks fell 15.3% to 9.8 million tonnes.

Despite an 8.8% decrease in the production of corn for grain in 2011, stocks rose 8.1% from 2011 to a record 6.2 million tonnes in 2012. This level was 2.5% higher than the previous record of 6.0 million tonnes in March 2009. Commercial stocks were down slightly from March 2011 levels, while on-farm stocks were up 13.3% to 4.4 million tonnes.

Soybean storage was also at a record level in March 2012, as total stocks increased 19.0% to 1.9 million tonnes. Soybean production fell 2.3% in 2011 from a record high the previous year. The increase in total stocks was concentrated on farms, where stocks rose 34.4%.

Note to readers

The March Farm Survey of 13,400 farmers concerning, among others, stocks of principal field crops was conducted from March 23 to 30, 2012. Farmers were asked to report the amounts of grain, oilseeds and special crops in storage on their farm. Data on commercial stocks of western major crops originate from the Canadian Grain Commission. Commercial stocks of corn and soybeans are estimated on the basis of a sample of grain elevators in Eastern Canada. Data on commercial stocks of special crops come from a survey of handlers and 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 (Catalogue number22-007-X, free).

Stocks data are subject to revision during the two years following their initial publication. Revisions are published in the July stocks report, which is released in September.

Available without charge in CANSIM: tables CANSIM table001-0010, CANSIM table001-0017 and CANSIM table001-0040 to 001-0043.

Definitions, data sources and methods: survey numbers survey number3401, survey number3403, survey number3443, survey number3464 and survey number3476.

The publication Field Crop Reporting Series: "Stocks of principal field crops at March 31, 2012," Vol. 91, no. 3 (Catalogue number22-002-X, free), is now available from the Key resource module of our website under Publications.

Preliminary data on principal field crop areas will be released on June 27.

For more information, contact Statistics Canada's National Contact Centre (toll-free 1-800-263-1136; 613-951-8116;

To enquire about the concepts, methods or data quality of this release, contact Yves Gilbert (613-951-2577; or Craig Byrd (613-951-5138;, Agriculture Division.