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Production of principal field crops, July 2018

Released: 2018-08-31

Data from the July farm survey on field crop production show that farmers in Canada anticipate increased barley production compared with 2017, while production of canola, wheat, soybeans, corn for grain, and oats are all expected to decline.

Weather conditions, including lower than average precipitation in several parts of Canada, are expected to drive down production (see map) and lower anticipated yields for some crops. In addition, high temperatures in some areas may have contributed to an expected decrease in production and average yields for some crops.

Wheat

Total harvested area of wheat in Canada is expected to increase 9.4% from 2017 to 24.3 million acres in 2018. Total yields at the national level are expected to fall 11.5%, from an average of 49.6 bushels per acre in 2017 to 43.9 bushels per acre in 2018. As a result, total wheat production is anticipated to decline from 30.0 million tonnes in 2017 to 29.0 million tonnes.

Provincially, preliminary total wheat production in Saskatchewan is expected to edge down from 12.9 million tonnes in 2017 to 12.8 million tonnes in 2018. The decline comes despite an anticipated 13.5% increase in harvested area in 2018, but yields are expected to fall from 42.2 bushels per acre in 2017 to 36.8 bushels per acre.

In Alberta, an anticipated 8.7% decline in yield is expected to offset a 5.5% increase in harvested area, resulting in an anticipated production of 9.6 million tonnes in 2018, 3.9% lower than the previous year.

Farmers in Manitoba expected an 8.0% decrease in total production to 4.0 million tonnes. Like both other Prairie provinces, lower yields (down 14.2% from the previous year) are expected to offset increases in harvested areas, which rose from 2.7 million acres in 2017 to 2.9 million acres in 2018.

In Ontario, total wheat production (the majority of which is winter wheat) is expected to decline, the result of a 1.2% decrease in harvested area in 2017, as well as a 4.3 bushels per acre drop in average yield.

Canola

At the national level, farmers anticipate total canola production to fall from 21.3 million tonnes in 2017 to 19.2 million tonnes in 2018. The expected decrease is due to an anticipated 1.7% decline in harvested area from 2017 to 22.5 million acres. As well, there is an anticipated 8.5% decline in average yields from 2017 to 37.5 bushels per acre in 2018.

Farmers in Saskatchewan expect to produce 10.1 million tonnes of canola in 2018, down 9.7% from the previous year. Lower production is attributable to a 3.8% drop in expected harvested area from 2017, and a projected decrease in average yield, falling from 38.9 bushels per acre in 2017 to 36.5 bushels per acre in 2018.

Production in Alberta is expected to decline from 6.8 million tonnes in 2017 to 6.0 million tonnes in 2018. The drop in production is mainly attributable to an expected 10.1% decrease in yield to 39.3 bushels per acre. A 2.6% decrease in harvested area compared with 2017 also contributed to the total decrease in production.

In Manitoba, harvested area of canola is expected to increase 7.4% to 3.4 million acres in 2018. Despite the projected increases in harvested acres, yield is expected to decline from 44.0 bushels per acre in 2017 to 37.7 bushels per acre in 2018. As a result, production is anticipated to decline 7.9% from 2017 to 2.9 million tonnes.

Corn for grain

Canadian farmers anticipate a 2.2% decrease in corn for grain production to 13.8 million tonnes in 2018. The decline is expected despite a 2.4% increase in harvested area. The decrease is tied to a 4.4% drop in yields, from 159.7 bushels per acre in 2017 to 152.6 bushels per acre in 2018.

In Ontario, which accounts for the majority of corn for grain production in Canada, harvested area is expected to rise 2.4% to 2.1 million acres in 2018. The increase in harvested area is expected to be offset by lower yields, falling from 167.0 bushels per acre in 2017 to 160.0 bushels per acre in 2018. As a result, farmers anticipate a 1.9% decrease in production to 8.6 million tonnes.

Trends were similar in Quebec, where yields are expected to decrease 5.7% to 150.2 bushels per acre in 2018, offsetting a 1.3% increase in harvested area to 946,400 acres in 2018. Production is anticipated to decline 4.5% from 2017 to 3.6 million tonnes.

Soybeans

Canadian farmers expect a total production of 7.0 million tonnes of soybeans in 2018, down 9.2% from the previous year. The anticipated decrease in production is due to a 13.7% decline in harvested area from 2017 to 6.3 million acres. Yields are anticipated to rise by 2.1 bushels per acre at the national level to 41.2 bushels per acre (+5.4% from 2017).

Production in Ontario is expected to decrease from 3.8 million tonnes in 2017 to 3.7 million tonnes in 2018. Harvested area is anticipated to fall by 64,000 acres (-2.1%), while yields are expected to decrease 1.5% from 2017 to 44.9 bushels per acre.

Harvested area of soybeans in Manitoba is projected to decrease 18.0% to 1.9 million acres, the first decline in harvested soybean area in the province since 2007. Yield is expected to fall from 36.1 bushels per acre in 2017 to 34.7 bushels per acre in 2018. The anticipated decrease in both harvested area and yield is expected to result in a 21.1% decline in production, from 2.2 million tonnes in 2017 to 1.8 million tonnes in 2018.

In Quebec, farmers anticipate production to rise from 1.1 million tonnes in 2017 to 1.2 million tonnes in 2018, the result of increased yields. Yields are expected to rise from 41.9 bushels per acre in 2017 to 48.8 bushels per acre in 2018. Higher yields are expected to offset a 7.9% decrease in harvested area.

In Saskatchewan, harvested soybean area is expected to decrease 52.7% to 400,000 acres in 2018, resulting in an anticipated production of 298 000 tonnes, down 37.7% from 2017.

Barley and oats

Nationally, farmers anticipate that barley production will increase from 7.9 million tonnes in 2017 to 8.0 million tonnes in 2018. The increase in production is attributable to an 11.5% gain in harvested area to 5.8 million acres in 2018, offsetting an expected 9.1% decrease in yields.

Harvested area of oats is expected to decrease 6.2% to 2.4 million acres. In addition, farmers across Canada anticipate that yield will fall from 93.1 bushels per acre in 2017 to 87.9 bushels per acre in 2018. As a result, production at the national level is expected to fall 11.5% to 3.3 million tonnes.

Map 1  Thumbnail for map 1: Vegetation growth index as of July 23 to 29, 2018 (during survey collection), compared with the last 30-year average, by census consolidated subdivisions
Vegetation growth index as of July 23 to 29, 2018 (during survey collection), compared with the last 30-year average, by census consolidated subdivisions


  Note to readers

This release provides the preliminary production estimates for 2018, as well as revised production data for 2017 if applicable. The estimates are derived from the July Farm Survey of crop production covering about 13,110 Canadian farms. The survey was conducted from July 6 to August 1, 2018. 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.

As of July 2014 for these provinces, July 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 2018 will be released on December 6, 2018, and are subject to revision for two years.

On September 19, 2018, 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.

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.

Crop Reporting Survey at a Glance

An easy-to-print chart, Crop Reporting Survey at a Glance, which provides an overview of our survey cycle is now available online.

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; STATCAN.infostats-infostats.STATCAN@canada.ca) or Media Relations (613-951-4636; STATCAN.mediahotline-ligneinfomedias.STATCAN@canada.ca).

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