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Statistics Canada’s latest numbers on row crop production

The latest numbers from Statistics Canada indicate canola and soybean crops across the country will likely rise, with corn production set to decline for 2008.  The preliminary numbers also show a significant increase in wheat acres, particularly in winter and durum varieties.


August 22, 2008
By Statistics Canada

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August 22, 2008

Farmers reported they expect to produce 10.4 million tonnes of canola based on area seeded and anticipated yields, exceeding the previous record production of 9.5 million tonnes in 2007. Farmers also anticipated strong gains in 2008 in soybean production.


This optimism comes despite weather-related challenges earlier in the growing season such as excess rainfall in many areas of the country and hail in parts of the Prairies. Actual production will depend to a large extent on the weather during the remainder of the 2008 growing season.

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Production estimates, July 31 
Crop 2007 2008 2007 to 2008
  actual expected  
  thousands of tonnes % change
Total wheat 20.054 25.426 26.8
Spring wheat 13.873 16.325 17.7
Durum wheat 3.681 4.910 33.4
Winter wheat 2.499 4.191 67.7
Barley 10.984 10.876 -1.0
Canola 9,529r 10.375 8.9
Grain corn 11.649 9.892 -15.1
Oats 4.696 4.061 -13.5
Dry field peas 2.935 3.272 11.5
Soybeans 2.696 3.167 17.5
Flaxseed 634 765 20.8
Dry beans 277 281 1.5
r revised

Canola production up
Canola production is poised to rise above the previous high reported in 2007. Canola production could increase by 847,000 tonnes over 2007, the result of both an anticipated above average yield of 29.3 bushels per acre and an expected strong harvest area of 15.6 million acres. Market demand for biodiesel and increasing crushing capacity, coupled with the high prices at the time of planting, may have motivated farmers to plant more canola.


Saskatchewan, Alberta and Manitoba account for about 98% of canola production in Canada and two out of these three provinces may reach previously unattained levels of canola production. Manitoba production could grow to 2.1 million tonnes, comparable to the previous high of 2.0 million tonnes in 2007. Alberta farmers also reported an expected production increase for canola to 3.8 million tonnes. The former high of 3.7 million tonnes was reported in 2005.

Note to readers

The annual July farm survey is a preliminary survey of Canadian field crop production conducted from July 25 to August 4.

Soybean production expected to rise
Total soybean production is expected to reach a new high at 3.2 million tonnes. Approximately 90% of total soybean production originates from Quebec and Ontario.


In Quebec, soybean production is forecast to increase 33.5% to 630,000 tonnes, a level not reached since the previous high of 535,000 tonnes set in 2006. This is the result of a similar percentage increase in harvested area to a never before attained area of 573,300 acres. In spite of better prices for both commodities, producers appeared to favour the lower cost of production for soybeans over corn in their choice of grains to grow in 2008.


Ontario farmers expected an increase in soybean production of 12.5% to 2.3 million tonnes, a level equivalent to the previous five-year average between 2003 and 2007. In spite of a drop of over 100,000 harvested acres, the yield is expected to increase by 6.5 bushels per acre to 39.5 bushels per acre.

Farmers in line to produce less grain corn
Production of grain corn is expected to decrease by 15.1% to 9.9 million tonnes. Ontario and Quebec again account for 95% of total production.


Farmers in Ontario expected to produce less corn for grain, mainly due to declines in expected harvested area. Due to favourable weather conditions in the fall of 2007, winter wheat was rotated into much of the land used to grow corn and soybeans, resulting in a production decrease of 12.6% to 6.1 million tonnes.


Quebec corn production should fall 20.1% to 3.3 million tonnes, due to expected declines in harvested area and yield. Over 100,000 acres of land was rotated out of corn into soybeans.