Barley production on the rise; canola and soybean production down

The largest decreases were in the production of canola and soybean crop, with a 10.2 and 9.2 per cent decrease respectively.
Top Crop Manager
Friday, 31 August 2018 | Canada
By Top Crop Manager
Farmers in Canada anticipate increased barely production compared to 2017, while production of canola, wheat, soybeans, corn for grain, and oats are all expected to decline, according to Statistics Canada's July farm survey on field crop production. 

Weather conditions are expected to drive down production and lower anticipated yields for some crops. Across the Prairies, provincial crop reports are showing below average yields and crop conditions in the southern regions compared to northern regions. 

Production of wheat, canola, soybeans and corn for grain are all down from last year. The largest decreases were in the production of canola and soybean crop, with a 10.2 and 9.2 per cent decrease respectively. 
  • Wheat: 29.0 million tonnes in 2018, a 3.3 per cent decrease
  • Canola: 19.2 million tonnes in 2018, a 10.2 per cent decrease
  • Soybeans: 7.0 million tonnes in 2018, a 9.2 per cent decrease
  • Corn for grain: 13.8 million tonnes in 2018, a 2.2 per cent decrease 
Other interesting trends include a 1.8 per cent rise in chick pea production and a 0.5 per cent rise in mustard seed production. In Statistics Canada's June field crop survey, Canadian farmers reported seeding less land to canola and soybeans - crops that were both at record levels in 2017. Less seeded acreage for these two crops could be factors in their lower production numbers in addition to a hot dry growing season.

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.

This report is also accessible on the Statistics Canada site with additional notes on methodology.

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