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Production of principal field crops, November 2016

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Released: 2016-12-06

Canadian farmers reported increased production of wheat, canola, barley, soybean and lentils in 2016, while corn for grain and oats production were lower than in 2015.

Significant amounts of snow in early October delayed harvest in some northern regions of Alberta and Saskatchewan. As a result, combining was not complete at the end of the survey period in these areas. Still, farmers in the affected areas were asked to provide their best estimates for their total crop production.

Chart 1  Chart 1: Production of selected crops
Production of selected crops


Total wheat production is expected to increase 15.0% from a year earlier to 31.7 million tonnes in 2016. This marks the second time in five years that wheat production exceeded 30 million tonnes, with the other being the bumper crop of 37.5 million tonnes in 2013.

The reported increase in total wheat production resulted from a higher average yield of 53.2 bushels per acre in 2016, up 24.3% from 42.8 bushels per acre in 2015. In contrast, the harvested area declined 7.3% to 21.9 million acres, the lowest level in five years.

Alberta farmers reported a 19.4% increase in total wheat production to 9.9 million tonnes. This was the result of a 25.5% rise in average yield to 58.0 bushels per acre, while there was a 4.6% decrease in harvested acres from 2015 to 6.3 million acres.

Similarly, farmers in Saskatchewan reported an 11.5% increase to 14.5 million tonnes, despite the fact harvested area declined by 1.6 million acres from 2015 to 11.3 million acres. The gain in total wheat production was the result of a 27.2% increase in average yield to 47.3 bushels per acre.

Manitoba farmers reported 4.2 million tonnes of wheat production in 2016, virtually unchanged from 2015 levels.

In Ontario, overall wheat production was reported at 2.5 million tonnes, mainly driven by a 56.0% increase in winter wheat harvested area over 2015, as well as a record high average yield of 90.9 bushels per acre, up 15.9% over 2015.


Canadian farmers reported producing 18.4 million tonnes of canola in 2016, virtually unchanged from 2015. This was a result of a record high average yield of 42.3 bushels per acre, surpassing the previous high mark of 40.6 bushels per acre during the 2013 bumper crop. This was offset, however, by a 6.6% decline in harvested acres to 19.2 million acres.

Canola production in Saskatchewan was up 2.3% from 2015 to a record high 9.7 million tonnes in 2016. This was due to a record high yield of 41.2 bushels per acre (+8.7%), as harvested acreage decreased 5.9% from 2015 to 10.4 million acres.

Alberta farmers reported a 1.2% decline in canola production from 2015 to 5.8 million tonnes. This was the result of an 11.0% drop in harvested acreage, as average yield also reached a record high 46.4 bushels per acre, almost seven bushels more than the five-year average.

In Manitoba, farmers reported that canola production fell 4.0% to 2.7 million tonnes. The harvested area reported was similar (-0.8%) to a year earlier, but the average yield declined 3.2% to 39.0 bushels per acre.

Corn for grain

Corn for grain production in Canada declined 2.7% from 2015 to 13.2 million tonnes, mainly as a result of a 3.6% decline in average yield to 158.7 bushels per acre. The yield, however, was well above the five-year average of 151.2 bushels per acre.

Ontario farmers reported an 8.9% drop in corn for grain production to 8.0 million tonnes. This was the result of a 7.1% decrease in average yield from 2015 to 158.5 bushels per acre, as the harvested area was relatively stable compared with last year.

In Quebec, farmers reported that corn for grain production was virtually unchanged from 2015 at 3.8 million tonnes. This was the result of a 1.4% reduction in harvested area to 887,100 acres, combined with a 2.2% increase in average yield to a record high 168.2 bushels per acre.


Nationally, soybean farmers reported record high production for an eighth consecutive year in 2016, up 1.4% from 2015 to 6.5 million tonnes.

Manitoba farmers led the way with soybean production up 27.2% from a year earlier to 1.8 million tonnes. This was the result of record levels in both harvested acres (+14.1% to 1.6 million acres) and average yield (+11.6% to 41.3 bushels per acre).

Ontario soybean growers reported that production was down 9.5% to 3.4 million tonnes in 2016. The harvested area fell 7.8% to 2.7 million acres. A lower average yield of 45.9 bushels per acre, down 1.9% compared with 2015, also contributed to the overall production decrease.


Lentil production reached a record high in 2016, with output up 27.9% from a year earlier to 3.2 million tonnes. The increase in lentil production was the result of a 42.5% gain in harvested area to 5.7 million acres, as the average yield was 10.3% lower than last year at 1,248 pounds per acre.

The majority of national lentil production originates in Saskatchewan, where growers reported producing 2.7 million tonnes in 2016. The harvested area was 5.2 million acres in this province, while the average yield declined 16.2% from 2015 to 1,167 pounds per acre.

Barley and oats

Barley production rose 6.8% to 8.8 million tonnes in 2016. This growth was attributable to a 12.9% increase in average yield to a record high 73.4 bushels per acre, as the harvested area decreased 5.6% over 2015 levels to 5.5 million acres.

Conversely, Canadian oat farmers reported that production fell 8.2% from 2015 to 3.1 million tonnes. Despite a record high yield of 92.3 bushels per acre (up 8.2% from 2015), the production drop was due to a 15.1% decline in harvested area to 2.2 million acres.

  Note to readers

The November Farm Survey of crop production covering approximately 26,500 Canadian farms was conducted from October 21 to November 13, 2016. Farmers were asked to report their estimated seeded and harvested areas, yield and production of grains, oilseeds and special crops. This survey collected data from every province.

This release provides the final production estimates for 2016, which are subject to revision for two years.

Percentage changes are calculated using unrounded data.

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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