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Model-based principal field crop estimates, 2017

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Released: 2017-09-19

Canola production in Canada is estimated to reach a record 19.7 million tonnes in 2017, according to Statistics Canada's model-based principal field crop estimates. Soybean production is also estimated to reach a record, at 8.3 million tonnes. Current oilseed prices and profitability have encouraged Canadian farmers to plant record acreage for both of these crops.

Production is estimated to increase in 2017 for canola (+0.5%), corn for grain (+8.5%), oats (+19.0%) and soybeans (+28.8%) compared with 2016.

Production is estimated to decline in 2017 for barley (-16.8%), canary seed (-17.1%), flaxseed (-14.8%), lentils (-24.9%), mixed grains (-5.5%), mustard seed (-51.2%), dry field peas (-20.1%), fall rye (-19.6%), durum wheat (-44.6%), spring wheat (-1.8%) and winter wheat (-21.6%) compared with 2016.


Total wheat production in Canada is estimated to be 27.1 million tonnes in 2017, a decline of 14.5% from 2016. The decline in production is attributed to lower yields in spring wheat, durum wheat and winter wheat compared with last year. The decline in yield, most notably in Western Canada, was due to the very dry conditions in the south central region of the Prairies where precipitation during the growing season was significantly lower than the average (see map).

At the national level, spring wheat production is estimated to be 20.1 million tonnes in 2017, down 1.8% from 2016. Although the 2017 harvested acreage is estimated to be 8.0% higher compared with the previous year, overall production is expected to be down due to a lower estimated yield of 47.2 bushels per acre at the national level, down 9.2% from 52.0 bushels per acre in 2016.

Spring wheat production is expected to increase in Alberta (+5.4%) to 8.4 million tonnes in 2017, but to decrease 7.2% in Saskatchewan to 7.4 million tonnes, and to fall 4.2% in Manitoba to 3.7 million tonnes. Average spring wheat yield in Saskatchewan is anticipated to be down 14.1% compared with 2016, to 39.6 bushels per acre. An anticipated increase of 8.0% in harvested area will help offset the lower anticipated yield for Saskatchewan. In Alberta, average yield is expected to decline 10.1% from 2016 to 53.5 bushels per acre. A 16.8% increase in harvested area, however, will help temper the lower yields, resulting in an overall increase in production for this province.

Durum wheat production at the national level is expected to be 4.3 million tonnes in 2017, down 44.6% from 2016. This decrease is due to a 12.9% reduction in harvested acreage. As well, very dry conditions in the south central region of the Prairies (see map) are expected to result in a decline of 36.5% in expected yield, to 31.0 bushels per acre. Durum production is concentrated in the Prairie region that received below-average precipitation during the growing season.


Canola production is estimated to be a record for 2017 at 19.7 million tonnes, up 0.5% over 2016. Although harvested area is estimated at a record 22.8 million acres, up 13.8% compared with 2016, lower yields in 2017 for all provinces except Manitoba have contributed to a gain in production compared with 2016.

Corn for grain

At the national level, corn for grain production is estimated to be at 14.3 million tonnes in 2017, an increase of 8.5% from 2016. Production is estimated to increase due to a larger harvested area (+7.0%) from 2016. Ontario is estimated to produce 9.0 million tonnes of grain corn based on a yield estimate of 169.5 bushels per acre, up 6.9% from 2016. The record yield in Ontario was in 2015 at 170.6 bushels per acre. Quebec corn production is estimated at 3.7 million tonnes, down 2.6% from 2016.


Soybean production is estimated to be a record at 8.3 million tonnes in 2017, up 28.8% from 2016, due primarily to an estimated increase of 34.6% in harvested area to 7.2 million acres at the national level. Yield at the national level is estimated to be 42.2 bushels per acre, down 4.3% from 2016. Nearly half of the national soybean production is expected from Ontario at 4.1 million tonnes, with an estimated record yield of 49.3 bushels per acre, up 7.4% from 2016. The previous record of 48.3 bushels per acre was set in 2012.

Map 1  Thumbnail for map 1: Percent of Average Precipitation (April 1, 2017 to September 10, 2017)
Percent of Average Precipitation (April 1, 2017 to September 10, 2017)

  Note to readers

Model-based principal field crop estimates are calculated according to an approach developed by Statistics Canada in close partnership with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. These yield estimates are based on a model that incorporates coarse resolution satellite data from Statistics Canada's Crop Condition Assessment Program, data from Statistics Canada's field crop reporting series, and agroclimatic data.

A methodology report describing the yield model used at Statistics Canada is available online.

Production estimates for Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta are calculated using the model-based yields as of August 31 multiplied by the reported harvested area from the July Farm Survey of the field crop reporting series. Estimates for Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and British Columbia are carried forward from the July estimates of production of principal field crops.

Final crop production estimates for the current year will be released on December 6, 2017.

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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