Production of principal field crops, July 2012

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Prairie farmers anticipate record canola production in 2012, as well as increases in wheat and barley. At the national level, production is set to increase for corn for grain and soybeans.

Overall, weather conditions in the West in 2012 have been closer to normal, following two years of excess moisture conditions in parts of Manitoba and Saskatchewan.


Prairie farmers anticipate a record 15.2 million metric tonnes of canola in 2012, surpassing the record of 14.0 million tonnes set last year.

Farmers in all three Prairie provinces anticipate an increase in canola production, with the potential for records in Saskatchewan and Alberta.

In Saskatchewan, 7.3 million tonnes of canola are expected to be produced in 2012, up 4.5% from the 2011 record of 7.0 million tonnes. In Alberta, farmers anticipate a record 5.4 million tonnes, a 1.4% increase over the previous record of 5.3 million tonnes set in 2011.

In Manitoba, farmers reported they expect to produce 2.5 million tonnes of canola in 2012, up 49.7% from 2011. The yield is expected to increase 12.9% from 27.8 bushels per acre in 2011 to 31.4 bushels per acre in 2012. Farmers anticipate a harvested area of 3.5 million acres in 2012, exceeding the record of 3.2 million acres in 2009.


Total wheat production on the Prairies is expected to reach 24.8 million tonnes in 2012, up 9.7% from 22.6 million tonnes in 2011.

This increase is anticipated despite a decline in average yield from 42.1 bushels per acre in 2011 to 41.5 bushels per acre in 2012. The decline in yield would be offset by an 11.4% increase in harvested area to just under 22.0 million acres.

In Manitoba, wheat production is expected to increase by 1.5 million tonnes (+69.9%) to 3.7 million tonnes, the result of improved growing conditions from 2011.

In Saskatchewan, farmers anticipate an 8.4% increase in production, while in Alberta, wheat production is set to decline by 3.5%.


Barley production on the Prairies is anticipated to rise 23.8% to 9.0 million tonnes in 2012. This is the result of farmers expecting a record average yield of 65.1 bushels per acre, breaking the previous record of 63.3 bushels per acre set in 2008, combined with an increased area to be harvested of 6.3 million acres, up 16.9% from 5.4 million acres in 2011.

Alberta farmers expect a record barley yield of 70.6 bushels per acre, up from the previous record of 67.0 bushels per acre set in 2011. Production in 2012 is estimated at 5.3 million tonnes, up 17.2% from 4.6 million tonnes in 2011.

In Saskatchewan, barley production is set to rise 21.9% to 3.0 million tonnes.


Nationally, total soybean production in 2012 is anticipated to increase 3.7% to just over 4.4 million tonnes.

In Manitoba, farmers anticipate a record soybean production of 710 300 tonnes in 2012, up 71.7% from 2011. The previous record of 435 400 tonnes was set in 2010. They are expecting an average yield of 30.7 bushels per acre, up from 26.7 bushels per acre in 2011.

In the East, farmers in Quebec reported that they expect a record production of 813 000 tonnes in 2012, up from 800 000 tonnes in 2011 and surpassing the previous record of 807 000 tonnes set in 2010. The new record would occur despite an anticipated 3.3% decline in harvested area in 2012.

In Ontario, the harvested area is expected to increase to a record 2.6 million acres from 2.4 million acres in 2011. However, this would be offset by a decrease in average yield from 44.9 bushels per acre in 2011 to 39.4 bushels per acre in 2012, resulting in a 4.6% decline in soybean production compared with 2011 to 2.8 million tonnes.

Corn for grain

Nationally, the production of corn for grain is anticipated to reach just over 11.7 million tonnes, up 9.5% from 2011.

In Quebec, farmers anticipate an 18.6% increase in production to 3.5 million tonnes. This reflects a 4.8% increase in yield from 132.1 bushels per acre in 2011 to 138.4 bushels per acre in 2012, and an increase in harvested area from 873,500 acres to 988,400 acres.

Ontario farmers anticipate a 3.2% increase in production of corn for grain to 7.5 million tonnes in 2012. Yield is expected to decline 9.8% to 136.7 bushels per acre from 151.6 bushels per acre in 2011, but harvested area is expected to increase 14.4% to 2.2 million acres.

In Manitoba, the production of corn for grain is set to increase from 414 000 tonnes in 2011 to 688 400 tonnes in 2012. Farmers anticipate harvesting 290,000 acres in 2012, exceeding the record of 225,000 acres set in 1981.

Note to readers

The July Farm Survey of crop production covering about 15,000 Canadian farmers was conducted from July 25 to August 1, 2012. Farmers were asked to report their estimated area, yield and production of grains, oilseeds and special crops.

Final production estimates for 2012 will be released on December 5, 2012 and are subject to revision for two years.

Auxiliary data source: As an additional tool to assess growing conditions of field crops during the crop year, readers are invited to visit the Crop Condition Assessment Program web application. Readers can monitor a vegetation index of crop land on a weekly basis.

Available without charge in CANSIM: tables CANSIM table001-0010 and CANSIM table001-0017.

Definitions, data sources and methods: survey numbers survey number3401 and survey number3465.

The publication Field Crop Reporting Series: "July 2012 Estimates of Production of Principal Field Crops", Vol. 91, no. 5 (Catalogue number22-002-X, free), is now available from the Key resource module of our website under Publications.

The stocks of principal field crops at July 31 will be released on September 7.

For more information, contact Statistic's Canada 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 Heather Keehn (613-951-0730;, Agriculture Division.