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Production of principal field crops, July 2016

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Released: 2016-08-23

Canadian farmers expect production of wheat, barley and lentils to increase in 2016, while canola, soybean, corn for grain and oats are anticipated to decline.

Extremely dry and wet weather conditions in different parts of the country have played a significant role in the production expectations reported in the July survey.


Total wheat production is expected to reach 30.5 million tonnes in 2016, up 10.5% compared with last year. This could mark the second time in 25 years that wheat production will exceed 30 million tonnes, the other being the bumper crop of 2013.

The reported increase in total wheat production resulted from a projected higher average yield of 48.9 bushels per acre in 2016, up 14.3% from 42.8 bushels per acre in 2015. In turn, harvested area declined 3.3% to 22.9 million acres, the lowest level in five years.

Farmers in Saskatchewan, Alberta and Ontario all expect total wheat production to rise in 2016.

Farmers in Saskatchewan anticipate production to rise 5.1% to 13.7 million tonnes, despite harvested area declining nearly a million acres to 11.9 million acres in 2016. The gain in total wheat production is buoyed by a 5.0 bushels per acre increase in average yield to 42.2 bushels per acre in 2016.

Producers in Alberta expect a 15.4% increase in total wheat production to 9.6 million tonnes, the result of a 15.6% rise in average yield to 53.4 bushels per acre. Area harvested to all wheat is expected to be similar to 2015 levels at 6.6 million acres.

In Ontario, where mostly winter wheat is grown, production of all wheat is anticipated to rise 66.7% from a year earlier to 2.6 million tonnes. The overall increase reflects a higher reported harvest area of 1.1 million acres (+42.0%), and an expected record average yield of 89.2 bushels per acre (+17.4%).

In contrast, Manitoba farmers reported a 2.9% decrease in the wheat they expect to produce to 4.1 million tonnes in 2016. Harvested area is anticipated to decrease 4.4% to 2.9 million acres, while yields are reported to have edged up 1.6% from 2015 to 51.1 bushels per acre.


Canadian farmers anticipate producing 17.0 million tonnes of canola in 2016, down 1.2% from 2015. While the national average yield is projected to remain at 38.0 bushels per acre, lower expected harvested areas in Alberta and Manitoba are contributing to the decline in national production.

Canola production in Saskatchewan is expected to edge up 0.8% from 2015 to 8.9 million tonnes in 2016. This is largely due to a 1.2% increase in harvested area, with average yield similar to the 36.3 bushels per acre in 2015.

In Alberta, canola production is anticipated to decline 1.0% from 2015 to 5.4 million tonnes as a result of a 4.6% drop in harvested acreage. Farmers anticipate average yields to increase 3.8% to 41.2 bushels per acre, up from 39.7 bushels per acre reported in 2015.

Manitoba farmers expect canola production to fall 7.8% to 2.6 million tonnes. Canola harvested area is anticipated to be 80,000 acres lower (-2.6%) than a year earlier, and average yield is expected to decline 5.5% to 38.1 bushels per acre.

Corn for grain

Corn for grain production in Canada is expected to decline 8.9% from 2015 to 12.3 million tonnes in 2016. The national record average yield of 164.7 bushels per acre in 2015 is expected to fall 9.4% to 149.3 bushels per acre in 2016.

Ontario is the major provincial producer of corn for grain, but dry weather conditions in many farm areas are tempering production expectations. As a result, Ontario farmers expect corn for grain production to fall 11.1% to 7.9 million tonnes. This anticipated decline is tied to a projected decrease in average yield to 153.5 bushels per acre, down 10.0% from 170.6 bushels per acre in 2015. Harvested acres are expected to decline slightly (-1.2%).

Quebec farmers expect their corn for grain production to decline 8.8% from the previous year to 3.4 million tonnes. This is the result of a 1.9% reduction in harvested area to 882,200 acres, combined with a 7.0% decrease in average yield to 153.1 bushels per acre.

Conversely, production of corn for grain in Manitoba is expected to increase 19.0% from 2015 to 937 300 tonnes. This increase in production can be attributed to a 30.6% gain in harvested area to 320,000 acres, as average yield is expected to fall 11.2 bushels per acre (-8.9%) to 115.3 bushels per acre.


Nationally, soybean production is expected to be 5.8 million tonnes in 2016, down 6.5% from 2015. Reported average yields were down for all major soybean producing provinces.

Ontario, the largest soybean producer, is anticipating a 15.0% decrease to 3.1 million tonnes in 2016. Harvested area is expected to fall 7.1% to 2.7 million acres. At the same time, the average yield for the province is expected to decline from the 45.5 bushels per acre in 2015 to 41.6 bushels per acre in 2016.

In Manitoba, farmers expect record soybean production for a fifth consecutive year, up 9.8% from 2015 to 1.5 million tonnes in 2016, despite a 5.4% decrease in average yield to 35.0 bushels per acre. The anticipated increase in soybean production is the result of a 16.3% rise in harvested area to a provincial record 1.6 million acres.

Quebec producers anticipate a 1.0% decline in soybean production to 990 000 tonnes. Although a 3.0% increase in harvested area to 800,600 acres was reported, average soybean yield in Quebec is expected to fall 4.0% to 45.4 bushels per acre in 2016.


Lentil production is expected to reach a record high in 2016, as farmers estimate output to increase 36.3% from a year earlier to 3.2 million tonnes. The rise in lentil production is the result of a 36.9% increase in harvest area to 5.4 million acres, as expected average yield was 0.5% lower this year at 1,326 pounds per acre.

The majority of national lentil production takes place in Saskatchewan, and farmers in the province are projecting 2.8 million tonnes for 2016. Anticipated average yield was reported at 1,283 pounds per acre, down 4.2% from 2015. During the survey period in July, significant amounts of rain fell in much of the province, which influenced yield expectations. As rain continued into August, final average yield could be further compromised in regions experiencing excess moisture.

Meanwhile, lentil production in Alberta is expected to increase 213.6% to 432 700 tonnes, a record level for the province. Farmers in Alberta anticipate a 127.6% increase in harvest area to 560,000 acres. Average yields are expected to rise 37.8% from 2015 to 1,704 pounds per acre, but below the five-year average of 1,808 pounds per acre.

Barley and oats

Barley production is expected to rise 5.8% to 8.7 million tonnes in 2016. This growth is attributable to a 6.5% increase in average expected yield to 69.2 bushels per acre. Meanwhile, little change is expected in harvested area, reported at 5.8 million acres (-0.7%) in 2016.

Canadian farmers expect oat production to fall 11.9% to 3.0 million tonnes. This decrease reflects a 12.1% decline in expected harvested area to 2.3 million acres, as average yield is anticipated to remain basically unchanged from last year at 85.5 bushels per acre (+0.2%).

  Note to readers

The July Farm Survey of crop production covering about 13,100 Canadian farms was conducted from July 21 to August 4, 2016. 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.

For these provinces, July and September 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 2016 will be released on December 6 and are subject to revision for two years.

On September 20, 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. This release is replacing the September Farm Survey.

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; or Media Relations (613-951-4636;

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