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Wheat, canola, barley and oat production down for 2023

December 4, 2023  By Top Crop Manager

Canadian farmers reported producing more corn for grain and soybeans, but less wheat, canola, barley and oats in 2023, according to Statistics Canada. Lower production for most crops was driven largely by lower yields, especially in Western Canada where growing conditions were generally drier than in 2022.

Throughout the growing season in 2023, dry conditions across much of Western Canada contributed to lower yields compared with 2022. Warm and dry conditions allowed farm operators to complete harvests in a timely manner across most of the Prairies. In parts of Eastern Canada, adequate moisture and warm temperatures resulted in good yields, although some parts of Quebec and the Atlantic provinces may have been affected by above-average precipitation.

Wheat harvest decreases on lower yield


Total wheat production fell by 6.9 per cent to 32 million tonnes in 2023, attributable to lower production in the Prairies, likely because of dry conditions. Lower yields (-12.1 per cent to 44.5 bushels per acre) offset the higher harvested area (+6.0 per cent to 26.4 million acres).

Saskatchewan wheat production fell by 6.7 per cent to 14.2 million tonnes. Yields decreased by 12.4 per cent to 37.5 bushels per acre, offsetting higher harvested area, which rose by 6.4 per cent to 14 million acres.

In Alberta, wheat yields decreased by 19.6 per cent to 44.7 bushels per acre because of dry conditions in parts of the province. Harvested area rose by 2.4 per cent to 7.7 million acres, resulting in a 17.8 per cent decrease in wheat production to 9.3 million tonnes.

Wheat production in Manitoba rose eight per cent to 5.1 million tonnes in 2023. The increase was driven by higher harvested area (+8.5 per cent to 3.3 million acres), while yield decreased (-0.5 per cent. to 57.8 bushels per acre).

Canola production falls despite higher harvested area

Canola production decreased by two per cent nationally to 18.3 million tonnes in 2023, driven by lower yields, which decreased by 4.9% to 36.9 bushels per acre. Harvested area rose 3.0% to 21.9 million acres.

Canola yield in Saskatchewan decreased by 8.4% to 34.8 bushels per acre, offsetting higher harvested area (+8.4 per cent to 12.3 million acres), resulting in a 0.6 per cent production decrease to 9.7 million tonnes.

In Alberta, canola production fell 3.5 per cent to 5.4 million tonnes. The decrease was attributable to lower harvested area (-3.1 per cent to 6.3 million acres), while yields edged down 0.5 per cent to 37.9 bushels per acre.

Farmers in Manitoba reported producing less canola in 2023 (-3.5 per cent to 3.1 million tonnes) because of lower harvested area, which fell 3.2 per cent to 3.1 million acres. Canola yields in the province fell 0.2 per cent to 43.2 bushels per acre.

Higher harvested area results in greater production of corn

Nationally, the total corn for grain production rose 3.7 per cent to a record high 15.1 million tonnes in 2023. Harvested area rose 5.2 per cent to 3.8 million acres, offsetting a 1.4 per cent decrease in yields to 158.1 bushels per acre.

Manitoba farmers reported producing 1.8 million tonnes of corn in 2023, driven by higher harvested area, which rose 47.2 per cent to 547,600 acres. Yields within the province fell 8.9 per cent to 128.4 bushels per acre.

Ontario farmers reported that harvested area edged down by 0.9 per cent to 2.2 million acres in 2023, while yields rose three per cent to 170.9 bushels per acre, bringing production up two per cent from 2022 to 9.6 million tonnes.

Corn for grain production in Quebec was down 6.1 per cent from the previous year to 3.3 million tonnes in 2023. Harvested area rose 0.3 per cent to 888,400 acres but was offset by lower yields, which decreased 6.4 per cent to 148.1 bushels per acre.

Soybean production rises

Soybean production increased by 6.7 per cent nationally to seven million tonnes in 2023. The increase in production was the result of higher harvested area (+6.8 per cent to 5.6 million acres), while yields were unchanged at 45.9 bushels per acre.

In Manitoba, yields fell 15.8 per cent to 36.2 bushels per acre but were above the five-year average. Harvested area rose 41 per cent to 1.6 million acres, resulting in an 18.8 per cent increase in production to 1.6 million tonnes in 2023.

Ontario, the largest soybean producing province, reported higher production, rising one per cent from the previous year to four million tonnes in 2023. Lower harvested area (-5.7 per cent to 2.9 million acres) was offset by higher yields (+7.1 per cent to 51.4 bushels per acre).

Soybean production in Quebec rose 12.6 per cent from one year earlier to 1.3 million tonnes in 2023. The increase in production was the result of higher yields (+7.3 per cent to 46.9 bushels per acre) and higher harvested area (+5.1 per cent to 994,300 acres).

Lower yields result in decreased barley and oat production

Barley production fell 10.9 per cent to 8.9 million tonnes in 2023. The decrease was driven by lower yields compared with 2022, falling 12.9 per cent to 61.3 bushels per acre, likely because of dry conditions in parts of the Prairies. Harvested area rose 2.4 per cent to 6.7 million acres.

Total oat production decreased by 49.6 per cent nationally to 2.6 million tonnes in 2023, the lowest production in more than a decade. The decrease was a result of lower harvested area which fell 41.3 per cent to two million acres as farmers opted to plant less oats, likely because of high production in 2022. Yields also decreased in 2023, falling 14 per cent to 84.1 bushels per acre.


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