Average wheat, barley, and corn for grain production in Canada is expected to increase this year while Canola production is expected to decrease in most provinces, according to a report released by Statistics Canada Thursday.

The report, which surveyed both the production and yields of canola, wheat, barley, soy beans, and corn for grain across Canada, shows a pattern of expected increases in production despite falling yields – a scenario largely the result of expanding harvested areas.

Wheat, barley, corn for grain production expected to increase

National wheat production is expected to reach 26.7 million tonnes in 2012, up 5.8 per cent from 2011 – an increase that is anticipated despite a decline in average yield. Alberta is the only province to see a decline in wheat production, while Manitoba saw an astounding 73.6 per cent increase.

Farmers can also expect an overall increase in barley and corn for grain this year, with production up 10.8 and 8.3 per cent respectively. Manitoba anticipates the best barley results, with production expected to more than double this season.

Nationally, total soybean production in 2012 is expected to remain virtually unchanged at 4.3 million tonnes, however Quebec and Manitoba farmers anticipate a record high of 810,000 and 661,300 tonnes respectively – both as a result of increased yields.  

Canola production to decline in all provinces except Manitoba

Canola numbers may be the biggest surprise, with both anticipated production and yields down in the prairies, Saskatchewan and even Alberta where there is an expected record harvested area of 6.3 million acres. Manitoba is the only province likely to see an increase, with production expected to reach 24.7 per cent due to a 30 per cent increase in seeded area.  

With the harvest well underway, weather conditions in the last few weeks may have had an impact on yields for certain crops and a reason expected results are lower than normal. Disease may also play a factor, specifically in lower canola yields in parts of the Prairies, and drought may have affected corn for grain yields in Eastern Ontario.

The expansion of harvested areas, however, has led to the anticipated increase in production for many crops.

The survey was conducted in early September and studied 11,700 farmers across Canada.