Top Crop Manager

Features Agronomy
Production of principal field crops: November 2016

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, according to Statistics Canada's latest report.

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.


Total wheat production is expected to increase 15 per cent 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 per cent from 42.8 bushels per acre in 2015. In contrast, the harvested area declined 7.3 per cent to 21.9 million acres, the lowest level in five years.

Alberta farmers reported a 19.4 per cent increase in total wheat production to 9.9 million tonnes. This was the result of a 25.5 per cent rise in average yield to 58 bushels per acre, while there was a 4.6 per cent 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 per cent 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 per cent 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 per cent 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 per cent decline in harvested acres to 19.2 million acres.

Canola production in Saskatchewan was up 2.3 per cent 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 per cent), as harvested acreage decreased 5.9 per cent from 2015 to 10.4 million acres.

Alberta farmers reported a 1.2 per cent decline in canola production from 2015 to 5.8 million tonnes. This was the result of an 11 per cent 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 per cent) to a year earlier, but the average yield declined 3.2 per cent to 39 bushels per acre.

Corn for grain
Corn for grain production in Canada declined 2.7 per cent from 2015 to 13.2 million tonnes, mainly as a result of a 3.6 per cent 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 per cent drop in corn for grain production to eight million tonnes. This was the result of a 7.1 per cent 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 per cent reduction in harvested area to 887,100 acres, combined with a 2.2 per cent 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 per cent from 2015 to 6.5 million tonnes.

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

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

Lentil production reached a record high in 2016, with output up 27.9 per cent from a year earlier to 3.2 million tonnes. The increase in lentil production was the result of a 42.5 per cent gain in harvested area to 5.7 million acres, as the average yield was 10.3 per cent 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 per cent from 2015 to 1,167 pounds per acre.

Barley and oats

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

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

December 6, 2016  By Statistics Canada


Stories continue below