Canadian farms yielded record crops this year, as good weather helped growers harvest bigger-than-ever amounts of canola, wheat and soybean, Statistics Canada says.
Canola production rose by almost 30 per cent even as the amount of land seeded fell by 9 per cent, Statscan said in a report on Wednesday. Farms produced 38 per cent more wheat over last season as yields per acre rose by 25 per cent and the amount of land harvested increased by 10 per cent.
“Despite a late start to the spring seeding, weather conditions that prevailed up to the end of summer led to higher than normal yields, especially in the West,” Statistics Canada said.
Growers this year enjoyed a rainy start to the summer, followed by moderate temperatures in July and high temperatures in August.
Here are the increases by crop:
- Corn for grain - 9 per cent.
- Barley - 28 per cent.
- Soybeans - 2 per cent.
- Oats - 38 per cent.
- Dry field peas - 15 per cent.
- Lentils - 22 per cent.
- Flaxseed - 46 per cent.
The bumper crops have left farmers with mountains of grain they cannot move amid what some say is a shortage of rail cars.
Railways Canadian National Railway Co. and Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd. say they have moved more farm produce than ever, but grain growers and handlers say the delay in reaching ports for overseas shipping means they are missing out on strong market prices and risking spoilage as crops are stored outdoors.
In a separate report on Wednesday, Statistics Canada said higher canola exports drove up international sales of Canada’s farm, fish and food goods by 11 per cent in October. Agriculture was a bright spot in a month that saw export declines of 5 per cent (in value and volume) in vehicles and auto parts, and a 13-per-cent drop in precious metals. The overall value in exports of metals and non-metallic minerals fell by 6 per cent.