Drought caused wheat, canola and barley production to plummet in 2021: StatCan

TORONTO — Crop production over the past year took a nosedive, according to numbers from Statistics Canada released on Friday.

Compared to 2020, wheat production fell 38.5 per cent to 21.7 million tonnes this year across Canada, largely driven by extremely hot and dry weather conditions in the Prairies during the growing season.

Saskatchewan saw the biggest declines in wheat production, which dropped 48.1 per cent in the province. This was followed by Alberta, which saw a 42.9 per cent decrease in production. Wheat production in Manitoba dropped 28.9 per cent.

The drought in the Prairies also resulted in canola production dropping its lowest levels since 2007. Nationally, production fell 35.4 per cent to 12.6 million tonnes due to poor yields. By province, canola production dropped 45.4 per cent in Saskatchewan, 19.9 per cent in Alberta and 28.2 per cent in Manitoba.

Barley and oat production also suffered due to the drought in Western Canada. Barley production dropped 35.3 per cent to 6.9 million tonnes while oat production fell 43.0 per cent to 2.6 million tones.

Soybean production also fell slightly, dropping 1.4 per cent nationally to 6.3 million tonnes. While production fell 5.0 per cent in Quebec and 17.1 per cent in Manitoba, Ontario soybean production increased 4.4 per cent.

While Western Canada faced challenging weather events, corn farmers in Ontario and Quebec saw their yields rise due to favourable growing conditions. Production of corn for grain rose 3.1 per cent to 14.0 million tonnes across Canada.

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