Canada's wheat and canola crops hit a record high this year, while corn and soybean harvests declined.
Statistics Canada said Tuesday all varieties of wheat were up nationally this year over last, up 9 per cent or 2.1 million tonnes from 2010 to 25.3 million tonnes. Yields also increased 5.5 per cent from last year, up to 44 bushels per acre.
In the West, hot, sunny weather during the summer helped farmers them recover from a damp and late spring in certain areas. In Eastern Canada, weather patterns returned to normal after a particularly wet spring, especially in Quebec's Richelieu river valley.
Prairie farmers reported that canola production increased 10.7 per cent from 2010 to a record 14 million tonnes. This was the result of a 9.1 per cent increase in harvested acres to a high of 18.3 million acres, and a 1.5 per cent increase in average yield, Statistics Canada said.
Canola production reached new highs in both Alberta (5.3 million tonnes) and Saskatchewan (seven million tonnes), while it declined 25.3 per cent in flood-ravaged Manitoba.
But soybean production in Ontario, Quebec and Manitoba declined from record levels in 2010, primarily because of lower yields. Ontario produced three million tonnes of soybeans this year, a decline of 2.7 per cent or 81 600 tonnes from the all-time high set in 2010. The decrease was the result of a 2.4 per cent decline in yield to 44.9 bushels per acre.
Quebec soybean production declined 0.9 per cent to 800 000 tonnes despite a record harvested area of 738,800 acres. And Manitoba's production fell five per cent to 413,700 tonnes, also despite a record high in terms of harvested area. In both provinces, lower yields were to blame.
Corn production also slipped. In Ontario it was down 6.6 per cent or 508,100 tonnes from 2010 to 7.2 million tonnes. Quebec production was down 14.1 per cent or 480,000 tonnes from 2010 to 2.9 million tonnes.