Learn about the economic impact of Canadian wheat, durum, oats and barley
By Haley Bilokraly
Do you know what difference your cereal crop makes to the Candian economy?
Cereals Canada commissioned a report to understand how much of an impact the cereal grains sector has on the Canadian economy. The report was completed by LMC International, an independent economic consulting firm that focuses on agriculture and the agri-business sector.
To get a comprehensive and detailed view of the sector, the report analyzed data from four cereal crops: wheat, barley, oats, and durum.
As a result of the report, it was found that cereal grain is the second highest industry in terms of economic impact, with a total of $68.8 billion. Cereal grain only follows the oil and gas industry which has a total impact of $128.1 billion. Behind the cereal grain industry for economic impact is communication services ($66.1 billion), beef cattle ($51.6 billion), and canola ($29.9 billion).
When diving deeper into the impact that cereal crop has on the Canadian economy, it is further broken down into direct and indirect.
Direct impact is any benefit derived straight from the grains value chain. For example, a wheat farmers wage or the effect related to milling oats are direct impacts.
Indirect effects are benefits received from industries that supply or are related to the grains sector. Employment from jobs that support barley farmers would be considered an indirect impact.
Of the four cereal crops that were analyzed, wheat and barley were overwhelmingly the top contributors to the sector, both directly and indirectly. This is attributed to the vast amount of acreage that these crops account for in Canada and the many commercial bakeries and breweries across the country that rely on the production of wheat and barley.
Much of the impact from wheat and barley is associated with Western Canada, as this is mainly where the production of the two crops takes place. However, indirect impacts are likely to be credited with Eastern Canada since this is where the majority of wheat and barley processing happens.
Whether you are a grain farmer in Western Canada or a factory worker at a mill in Eastern Canada, it is clear that cereal crops continue to support our families and economy across the country. Next time you’re enjoying a beer from a local brewery or oat milk in your morning coffee, remember the importance of cereal grains in Canada.
Watch the video about the report from Cereal Canada.