Canadian wheat production up, corn, soybeans down

by World Grain Staff
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OTTAWA, ONTARIO, CANADA — Production of all varieties of wheat in Canada increased from 2010, while canola production hit a record high, according to the third and final production estimates for 2011 released by Statistics Canada on Dec. 6.

Farmers reported a decline in both corn and soybean crops.

Total wheat production was up 9% or 2.1 million tonnes from 2010 to 25.3 million tonnes. Reported yield was 44 bushels per acre, up 5.5% from 2010.

Farmers reported record yields for wheat in both Alberta (49.1 bushels per acre) and Saskatchewan (38.6 bushels per acre). This drove total production up 9% to 8.9 million tonnes in Alberta and up 20.5% to 11.5 million tonnes in Saskatchewan.

A significant contributor to the overall production increase was durum wheat. Durum wheat production increased 36.4% in Saskatchewan to 3.6 million tonnes and 47.1% in Alberta to 620,500 tonnes. These increases followed substantial declines from 2009 to 2010.

Soybean production in Ontario, Quebec and Manitoba declined from record levels in 2010, primarily the result of lower yields. This occurred despite record harvested areas in both Manitoba and Quebec.

Ontario soybean production amounted to 3 million tonnes, a decline of 2.7% or 81,600 tonnes from the all-time high set in 2010. The decrease was the result of a 2.4% decline in yield to 44.9 bushels per acre.

In Quebec, soybean production declined 0.9% to 800,000 tonnes despite a record harvested area of 738,800 acres. The drop was the result of a 13.5% decline in average yield to 39.8 bushels per acre, compared with the record high of 46 bushels in 2010.

In Manitoba, farmers reported a record harvested area of soybeans for 2011. However, lower yields had an impact on production, which fell 5% to 413,700 tonnes.

With respect to corn for grain, Ontario production was down 6.6% or 508,100 tonnes from 2010 to 7.2 million tonnes. Quebec production was down 14.1% or 480,000 tonnes from 2010 to 2.9 million tonnes.

Prairie farmers reported that canola production increased 10.7% from 2010 to a record 14 million tonnes. This was the result of a 9.1% increase in harvested acres to a high of 18.3 million acres, and a 1.5% increase in average yield.

Canola production reached new highs in both Alberta (5.3 million tonnes) and Saskatchewan (7 million tonnes), driven by record levels of harvested acres in both provinces and a record yield in Alberta.

On the other hand, canola production declined 25.3% in Manitoba, where farmers were unable to recover from early season flooding. This was the province's second consecutive decline in canola production.

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