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Canadian Wheat And Canola Production Declines

Statistics Canada surveyed 27,600 farmers from October 25 to November 12 regarding their crop production estimates for 2010. Production of wheat and canola on the Prairies declined while a record soybean crop was reported for Ontario, Quebec and Manitoba.

Wet weather delayed both spring planting and fall harvest on the Prairies, resulting in lower production and quality for many of the major grains and oilseeds. Early frosts also caused yield and quality damage in many areas.

Total wheat production decreased 14.6% from 2009 to 21.0 million metric tonnes. The largest decrease was in Saskatchewan where late spring flooding reduced the number of acres able to be planted. Manitoba wheat production declined by 21.3% as a result of lower yields and harvested acres. Meanwhile, after two years of drought, rainfall throughout July benefited Alberta producers, who saw an increase in wheat production of 9.8% from strong yields.

Canola production was also affected by the excessive moisture in Saskatchewan and Manitoba. Both provinces saw declines in production of 16.2% and 21.7% respectively. Summer rainfalls replenished Alberta soils, allowing producers to harvest a record canola crop of 4.5 million metric tonnes. In total, Canada produced 11.9 million metric tonnes, a decrease of 4.4% from 2009. Production was still above the five-year average of 10.6 million tonnes, reflecting the increased importance of canola in Canadian agriculture.

In spite of a 7.0% decrease in yield from the prior year, lentil production in Western Canada set of new record of 1.9 million metric tonnes produced from a record 3.3 million acres harvested. Many producers concentrated on planting higher-valued lentils as the spring planting season was shortened by excessive moisture. Meanwhile, dry pea production declined by 15.2% in Western Canada as a result in a drop in harvested area of 480,000 acres. Farmers produced 2.9 million metric tonnes of dry peas from approximately 3.3 million acres.

For a second consecutive year, Canada set production and harvested area records for soybeans. A total of 4.3 million metric tonnes were harvested from 3.6 million acres. Production was 24.0% higher than in 2009 while harvested acres were greater by 6.8%. Strong prices and a late planting season encouraged Manitoba producers to increase soybean acres to record levels. As a result, production increased by 35.6% from 2009 to 435,400 metric tonnes. Soybeans also handled the excessive moisture throughout the growing season better than most crops, evident in a 6.4% increase in yield to 31.4 bushels per acre. Ontario producers harvested slightly more acres than in 2009; however, a 14.4% increase in yield resulted in 3.0 million metric tonnes of soybeans being produced. This was a rise of 16.4% compared to 2009 production of 2.6 million metric tonnes. Quebec producers saw the largest increase in soybean production as approximately 807,000 metric tonnes were harvested from 644,900 acres. Production was 52.2% higher than 2009 as yield increased to 46.0 bushels per acre.

Record yields in Eastern Canada led to a 22.6% increase in corn production in Canada for 2010. Quebec producers reported an average yield of 148.0 bushels per acre. Total production was 3.4 million metric tonnes. Ideal growing conditions helped Ontario producers harvest 7.7 million metric tonnes of corn. A new record for yield was set at 164.0 bushels per acre, well above the five-year average of 145.6 bushels per acre. In Manitoba, corn production increased by 32.2% from 2009 despite a decrease in seeded acres. Improved weather conditions during the fall allowed producers to harvest 180,000 acres, 33.4% more than the previous year. Approximately 480,100 tonnes of corn was produced.

Source: Statistics Canada