Prairie farmers anticipate higher wheat production as well as a decline in canola this year compared with 2011. In Ontario, farmers expect an increase in production of corn for grain, while Quebec producers anticipate a record soybean crop.

With the harvest well underway, weather conditions in the last few weeks may have had an impact on yields for certain crops. For example, disease may have contributed to lower canola yields in parts of the Prairies, and drought may have affected corn for grain yields in Eastern Ontario.

Canola

Despite a higher harvested area compared with 2011, Prairie farmers anticipate an 8.1% decline in canola production to 13.2 million tonnes. This is a result of a 17.5% drop in yield to 28.2 bushels per acre.

Manitoba is the lone Prairie province to anticipate higher canola production. Farmers there expect a 24.7% rise in production to 2.1 million tonnes, the result of a 30.3% increase in seeded area.

In Saskatchewan, production is expected to decline 16.7% to 6.1 million tonnes in 2012. This is the result of a decrease in yield from 32.9 bushels per acre to 25.0 bushels. The lower yield offsets a record harvested area of 10.8 million acres, up 9.6% from 2011.

In Alberta, canola production is anticipated to drop 6.4% to 5.0 million tonnes despite an expected record harvested area of 6.3 million acres. The yield is expected to fall from 39.0 bushels per acre in 2011 to 34.9 bushels per acre.

Wheat

Nationally, total wheat production is expected to reach 26.7 million tonnes in 2012, up 5.8% from 2011. This increase is anticipated despite a decline in average yield from 44.0 to 42.1 bushels per acre. The harvested area is expected to increase 10.4% to 23.3 million acres.

Provincially, farmers reported increases in wheat production in both Manitoba (+73.6%) and Saskatchewan (+7.2%). In Alberta, farmers reported a 5.9% decline, the result of a combined 2.0% drop in yield and a 3.9% decline in harvested area.

Barley

Canadian farmers expect a barley production of 8.6 million tonnes, up 10.8% from 2011, the result of a 15.7% increase in harvested area to 6.8 million acres. At the same time, barley yields are expected to decline 4.4% to 58.3 bushels per acre.

Farmers in all three Prairie provinces anticipate increases in barley production. The crop in Manitoba is expected to more than double (+117.7%) to 568 800 tonnes

Soybeans

Nationally, total soybean production in 2012 is expected to remain virtually unchanged at 4.3 million tonnes (+0.8%).

In the East, Quebec farmers are expecting a record high production of 810 000 tonnes. This is a result of a 4.0% increase in yield to 41.4 bushels per acre, offsetting a 2.7% decrease in harvested area.

In Ontario, production is set to decrease 7.1% to 2.8 million tonnes. This is as a result of a 14.7% decrease in yield to 38.3 bushels per acre, despite a record harvested area of 2.6 million acres.

In Manitoba, farmers anticipate a record soybean production of 661 300 tonnes, up 59.9% from 2011. The previous record of 435 400 tonnes was set in 2010. Average yield is expected to increase 10.9% to 29.6 bushels per acre.

Corn for grain

At the national level, the production of corn for grain is anticipated to reach 11.6 million tonnes, up 8.3% from 2011.

In Ontario, corn for grain yield is expected to be 134.1 bushels per acre, down 11.5% from 2011. Nevertheless, production is anticipated to rise 2.6% to 7.4 million tonnes, the result of a record harvested area of 2.2 million acres, up 16.0% from 2011.

Quebec farmers expect production to increase 15.6% to 3.4 million tonnes in 2012. This reflects a 2.8% increase in yield to 135.8 bushels per acre combined with a 12.4% increase in harvested area to 982 200 acres.

Matt Snell, Know-Risk Farm Management