Weather Reduced Yield Potential

OTTAWA - Aug 31/17 - SNS -- Dry conditions in southern parts of the Prairies has reduced the yield potential of this year's crops, suggested Statistics Canada in its initial crop production estimates for the year.

Canadian farmers expect wheat production to decrease in most provinces in 2017. Nationally, total wheat production is anticipated at 25.5 million metric tons (MT), down 19.5% compared with 2016. Although harvested area should remain stable at 22.0 million acres, the drop can be traced to a projected lower average yield of 42.5 bushels per acre, down 20.1% from the 53.2 bushels per acre reported in 2016.

Farmers in Saskatchewan anticipate wheat production to decrease 29.9% from 2016 to 10.2 million MT. This is mainly attributable to a 28.8% decline in anticipated average yield to 33.7 bushels per acre, as harvested area should only be down 1.7% from 2016. Similarly, producers in Alberta expect an 18.3% fall in average yield to 47.4 bushels per acre, resulting in an anticipated 9.1% decrease in total wheat production to 9.0 million MT.

Manitoba farmers expect a decline in wheat production to 3.6 million MT (-14.3%), driven by a lower anticipated harvested area of 2.7 million acres (-8.5%), and a 6.4% decrease in average yield to 49.7 bushels per acre. In Ontario, total wheat production (derived from winter wheat, mainly) is anticipated to decrease 10.6% from 2016 to 2.3 million MT.


Canadian farmers anticipate producing 18.2 million MT of canola in 2017, down 7.1% from 2016. While harvested area is expected to rise to 22.8 million acres, lower average yields in Alberta and Saskatchewan are likely to contribute to the national decline in production.

Saskatchewan farmers are expecting canola production to fall 13.7% from 2016 to 9.2 million MT in 2017, despite a substantial increase in area seeded in 2017. The decrease in production is entirely due to the average yield declining 23.8% from 2016 to 32.3 bushels per acre.

In Alberta, canola harvested area is reported at a record 6.9 million acres, up 17.9% from 2016. However, farmers anticipate the average yield to fall 16.6% to 38.7 bushels per acre. Ultimately, canola production is anticipated to decrease 1.6% from a year earlier to 6.1 million MT in 2017.

Meanwhile, Manitoba farmers are expecting canola production to increase 6.5% from 2016 to 2.8 million MT in 2017.


At the national level, Canadian farmers expect corn for grain production to increase 3.4% to 13.6 million MT in 2017, despite a 3.3% decrease in average yield to 153.4 bushels per acres. The anticipated production increase is attributable to a 7.0% rise in harvested area to 3.5 million acres.

Ontario farmers anticipate corn for grain production to reach 8.6 million MT, up 6.3% from 2016. This is the result of anticipated increases in harvested area (+4.2% to 2.1 million acres) and average yield (+2.0% to 161.6 bushels per acre).

Quebec farmers expect corn for grain production to decline 6.6% from the previous year to 3.5 million MT. Despite an anticipated 5.0% increase in harvested area, an 11.1% decline in yield would lead to this production decline.


Nationally, Canadian farmers expect soybean production to reach another record high in 2017, up 19.8% from 2016 to 7.7 million MT as a result of a projected 34.6% increase in harvested area. The record high is anticipated despite an average yield that is expected to decrease 10.9% from 2016 to 39.3 bushels per acres.

In Ontario, soybean harvested area is expected to rise 13.3% to 3.1 million acres, while the average yield is expected to decline 2.8% to 44.6 bushels per acre in 2017. As a result, Ontario farmers anticipate a 10.2% increase in production to 3.7 million MT.

In Manitoba, farmers expect record soybean production for a sixth consecutive year, up 27.0% from 2016 to 2.2 million MT in 2017. This would be entirely due to a harvested area expected to rise to a record 2.3 million acres (+44.8%), since average yield is reported at 36.2 bushels per acre, 12.3% lower than in 2016.

In Saskatchewan, where soybean harvested area more than tripled in 2017 (to 845,000 acres), farmers expect production to reach 547 000 MT. Quebec producers anticipate a 10.6% production increase to 1.2 million MT in 2017.

Barley and Oats

Canadian farmers expect barley production to fall 17.9% to 7.2 million MT in 2017. This decline is expected to be the result of a 4.6% decrease in harvested area to 5.2 million acres, combined with a 13.9% drop in average yield to 63.2 bushels per acre.

Canadian farmers expect oat production to rise 15.3% from 2016 to 3.7 million MT. This is a result of a harvested area expected to rise to 2.7 million acres, as national average yield is anticipated to decline 2.6% to 90.0 bushels per acre.