Canadian farmers produced more wheat, soybeans, corn, barley and oats in 2020 as a result of favorable conditions compared to the previous year, while canola production was down from a year ago, according to a report released Dec. 3 by Statistics Canada.
Although 2020 has been a difficult year for all Canadians, including some agricultural operators, due to COVID-19, challenges associated with the pandemic do not appear to have affected principal field crop production, Statistics Canada said.
Harvest conditions nationwide were significantly improved compared to 2019, with favorable weather conditions helping farmers complete harvesting early in many areas. In fact, in parts of Western Canada, most of the crops were already harvested prior to the start of survey collection on Oct. 9, Statistics Canada said.
Total wheat production rose 7.7% to 35.2 million tonnes in 2020, largely due to higher production on the Prairies. Yields (up 3.8% to 52.2 bushels per acre) and harvested area (up 3.8% to 24.8 million acres) were both up from a year earlier.
Canola production decreased 4.5% nationally to 18.7 million tonnes in 2020, as both Saskatchewan and Alberta reported lower output. Yields decreased 3.1% to 40.1 bushels per acre, while harvested area fell 1.6%. Canola yield may have been impacted by dry conditions across parts of the Prairies, especially later in the growing season, Statistics Canada said.
Total corn for grain production rose 1.2% to 13.6 million tonnes in 2020. Harvested area fell 3% to 3.5 million acres, while yields rose 4.3% to 153.5 bushels per acre, the report noted.
Soybean production increased 3.5% nationally to 6.4 million tonnes in 2020. A 15.2% increase in yields more than offset a 10.1% decrease in harvested area, according to Statistics Canada.
Total barley production rose 3.4% to 10.7 million tonnes in 2020. Both harvested area (up 3.0% to 6.9 million acres) and yields (up 0.4% to 71.1 bushels per acre) contributed to the increase.
Oat production increased 8.2% nationally to 4.6 million tonnes on higher harvested areas (up 12.6% to 3.2 million acres), offsetting lower yields (down 3.9% to 91.3 bushels per acre).