Canada's population (July 2006): 32,623,490
BC's popluation (January 2005): 4,219,968
Principal field crops
Tuesday, June 26, 2007
Prairie farmers reported that they planted a record area of canola and field peas. In Quebec, a record area of corn for grain was planted.
Data from the June farm survey, Statistics Canada's largest area survey, comprising data from 29,000 Canadian farmers, revealed that Prairie farmers planted several record areas of field crops and an increased area of feed grains. Farmers in Ontario and Quebec, meanwhile, planted more corn for grain.
By the end of the survey period (May 25 to June 5), farmers reported that planting was nearly complete for 2007. Manitoba farmers reported slightly over 90% of fields seeded, while in Saskatchewan and Alberta the planted area was approximately 85% complete.
Soil moisture conditions across the Prairie provinces were rated as adequate to good. Excess moisture can be found in northern and eastern Manitoba, eastern and north-eastern Saskatchewan, and the north-west, west-central and Peace River regions of Alberta. In unplanted areas, farmers may make some last minute changes by switching to shorter season varieties or crops, with cool wet weather dragging out the end of the planting season. In some regions, there will be fields that remain unplanted.
In Eastern Canada, the area planted in grain corn rose significantly, while soybean area rose slightly.
Oilseed trends diverge
With the expectation of strong demand and higher prices than seen for some time, Prairie farmers reported they have planted a record 14.5 million acres of canola, up 17.2% from 2006. The previous record was 14.2 million acres, set in 1994. Inclement weather conditions late in the planting season may force farmers to switch to late season varieties of canola.
Increases in seeded area were reported in all three Prairie provinces, and all areas are greater than the five-year averages. Saskatchewan's planted area grew the most, with an increase of 1.2 million acres of canola to a total 7.2 million acres.
In the Prairie provinces, the acreage seeded to flaxseed fell 34.4% to 1.3 million acres. The five-year average for flaxseed acreage is 1.9 million acres. The trade is still working through the heavy supplies of the past two crop years.
Producers in all three Prairie provinces reported decreases in area to levels below their five-year averages. In Saskatchewan, where the majority of Canadian flaxseed is grown, planted area is reported to have declined 469,900 acres to 1.1 million acres.
Spring wheat area falls while durum wheat area increases
Prairie farmers reported planting a lot less spring wheat. Total plantings were down 19.0% to 14.8 million acres, the lowest area reported since 1970. The five-year average is 18.2 million acres. Searching for better returns and with increasing fertilizer prices, Prairie farmers substituted other crops for spring wheat. Poor planting conditions also prompted farmers to switch from wheat to shorter season crops, such as barley and oats.
Saskatchewan farmers planted 2.1 million less acres of spring wheat to a total of 7.5 million acres. Reported spring wheat areas in all Prairie provinces were less than their five-year averages.
In contrast to the spring wheat decline, the area seeded to durum rose by a million acres to 4.8 million acres. The area planted to durum has fluctuated considerably over the past decade.
Durum acreage rose in Saskatchewan and Alberta, where almost all Canadian durum is grown, but remained below the five-year average in each province.
Barley and oats are up, field pea area hits a record
Prairie farmers seeded 10.3 million acres of barley, an increase of 1.8 million acres from the 8.5 million acres seeded in 2006. In spite of the increase, the area remained below the five-year average of 10.5 million acres. Farmers may have been encouraged to plant more barley because of seeding delays, particularly in Alberta, and because of rising prices related mainly to strong international corn prices.
All three Prairie provinces have more barley planted this year. The area seeded to barley reached the five-year average in Manitoba and Alberta, but in Saskatchewan the area was below that average.
Prairie farmers planted more oats this year, an increase of 8.1% to 4.9 million acres.
Farmers in Manitoba and Saskatchewan planted more oats, while Alberta farmers seeded 219,200 fewer acres to an area of 1.1 million acres.
Total field pea area in the Prairie provinces increased 16.8% to a record 3.6 million acres. Field pea area has steadily increased over the past decade. Pea supplies have been tightening after two years of ample supplies. Special crop companies responded by offering near-record prices for peas planted this spring.
Field pea area was up in all three Prairie provinces and reached a record in Saskatchewan, where farmers planted 2.9 million acres of field peas, up from 2.4 million acres in 2006.
Ontario and Quebec farmers plant a lot more grain corn
Quebec farmers reported a record 1.1 million acres of grain corn planted, up 17.1% from 2006 and 7,400 acres more than the previous record set in 2002. Ontario farmers planted 2.1 million acres of grain corn, an increase of 34.4% over 2006 and an area 50,000 acres shy of the 1981 record.
Ontario farmers planted 995,000 acres of genetically modified corn, which represented 47% of the provincial planted area of corn for grain. Quebec farmers planted 580,700 acres of genetically modified corn, 52% of the province's total.
Ontario farmers planted more soybeans, an increase of 3.9% to an area of 2.2 million acres, just 85,000 acres short of the record set in 2004 and 2005. Quebec farmers planted 434,900 acres of soybeans, down 9.5%.
Genetically modified soybean area was 1.1 million acres, or 49% of total soybean plantings in Ontario. Quebec farmers planted 207,600 acres, or 48% of their acreage, into genetically modified soybeans.
Source: Statistics Canada
Greenhouse, sod and nursery industries 2006
The area dedicated to growing greenhouse products continued to expand, settling just short of 230 million square feet. Slightly more than half of the area was used for growing flowers and plants while the remaining 48% was dedicated to vegetables. Although the area distributions are similar, flower and plant sales make up 65% of the total greenhouse sales, compared to 35% for vegetables. Operators reported total sales of $2.34 billion in 2006, making it a record year.
Growers reported $1.52 billion in sales of flowers and plants in 2006. The leading purchasers of these products were wholesalers, followed by consumers. Potted plants recorded their highest sales, generating $679 million in revenue. The most popular potted plants were geraniums and tropical varieties.
Greenhouse vegetable growers reported selling a total of $826.9 million worth of products in 2006, the majority of which were sold to wholesalers. The vegetables that generated the highest revenue were tomatoes, followed by peppers and cucumbers. Tomatoes accounted for almost half of all vegetable revenue, while peppers and cucumbers each generated approximately one quarter of the total revenue. The area dedicated to tomatoes was the largest, at 51.0 million square feet, followed by cucumbers and peppers with 29.3 million square feet and 27.5 million square feet respectively.
Canada's total nursery area was 55,735 acres in 2006. Nursery sales in 2006 were $595.2 million. The largest buyers of nursery stock were landscapers and garden centres, contributing to just over half of all nursery revenues.
Total sod area continued to rise in 2006, reaching 58,945 acres. The increase in sod area was due to a higher demand for sod for golf courses, homes and parks. Along with the increase in area, growers recorded sod sales of $128.0 million.
Source: Statistics Canada
2006 Census of Agriculture: Farm operations and operators
Today, Statistics Canada provides the latest snapshot of the nation's agriculture industry, using new data from the 2006 Census of Agriculture. Comprehensive information about agricultural operations across Canada and the people managing those farms is available in three reports: Snapshot of Canadian Agriculture, The Financial Picture of Farms in Canada and Farming in Canada's CMAs.
Between 2001 and 2006, both the number of census farms in Canada and the number of farm operators continued their long-term decline.
The census counted 229,373 census farms as of May 16, 2006, down 7.1% or 17,550 from 2001. At the same time, it counted 327,060 farm operators, a 5.5% decline, the equivalent of 19,140 people.
Just over one-quarter (27.8%) of farm operators were women in 2006, up slightly from 26.3% five years earlier.
The number of farms fell in every province, and the rate of decline was fastest in Newfoundland and Labrador and Saskatchewan.
Farm numbers have been declining steadily in Canada since 1941. The decrease during the past five years was slower than the 10.7% drop between 1996 and 2001. However, the lower numbers do not tell the whole story about the capability of today's agriculture industry to adapt.
For instance, Canada's agricultural land base (the total amount of land on farms) remained virtually unchanged at just over 67.6 million hectares (167 million acres). The size of the average farm rose from 273 hectares to 295 hectares (676 acres to 728 acres).
In 2005, gross farm receipts amounted to an estimated $42.2 billion, up 8.8% from 2000 (at 2005 constant prices). This includes government program payments of $4.8 billion in 2005 (representing 11.4% of gross farm receipts), up from 6.9% of receipts in 2000, largely as an impact of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE). Total operating expenses rose 0.7% at 2005 constant prices to an estimated $36.4 billion.
Over this period, the prices farmers had to pay for the inputs they purchased rose more quickly than the prices they received for the products they sold. Improved efficiency, increased program payments and higher production helped to keep the ratios between expenses and receipts stable, despite this inflationary imbalance. Operators were spending an average of 86 cents in expenses (excluding depreciation) for every dollar of receipts in 2005, about half-a-cent less then they had been in 2000.
Although Canada is becoming an increasingly urban nation, one out of every seven Canadian farms had their headquarters in one of the 33 census metropolitan areas (CMAs). This proportion remained constant during the past five years.
More "million-dollar" farms
Census data showed that Canada had 5,902 "million-dollar" farms in 2006, those with gross farm receipts of $1 million or more. This compares to 4,453 five years earlier (at 2005 constant prices).
These farms comprised a relatively small proportion of the total, but their numbers are increasing. In 2001, they accounted for only 1.8% of all farms, and 34.6% of total receipts. By 2006, they accounted for 2.6% of all farms and 39.7% of total receipts.
In 2006, hog farms accounted for only 2.6% of all farm operations in Canada, but nearly 18% of them reported gross receipts of $1 million or more, the highest proportion of any farm type. Similarly, poultry and egg operations represented 2.0% of all farm operations, but about 15% of them had receipts of $1 million or more.
On the other hand, field crops are the most common type of farm across Canada. They accounted for just under 40% of all farms in 2006, but less than 2% of them reported gross receipts of $1 million or more.
Only 14.4% of all farms had gross receipts of between $250,000 and $1 million. The majority (65.6%) of Canada's 229,373 farm operations reported gross farm receipts under $100,000, while the remaining 17.4% were in the $100,000 to $249,999 receipts category.
Many small farm operations are financially viable
Nationally, 55.8% of all farms reported gross farm receipts greater than their total operating expenses, while 44.2% did not.
While the million-dollar farms are most likely to cover their operating expenses with their receipts, some farms among the smaller classes are also able to do so.
For instance, 28.6% of farms with gross receipts of less than $25,000 reported enough farm income to cover their expenses in 2005. These were most likely to be fruit and vegetable farms, and greenhouse, nursery and floriculture operations.
In contrast, 86.0% of farms with receipts of $1 million or more reported enough farm receipts to cover their expenses.
Farms in census metropolitan areas mostly smaller operations
Census of Population data released on March 13, 2007 showed Canada is an increasingly urban nation. Just over two-thirds of Canada's population in 2006 lived in the nation's 33 CMAs.
However, the Census of Agriculture showed that agriculture is no stranger to these areas. More than 15% (35,467) of the 229,373 farms counted by the census had their headquarters in one of these metropolitan areas. This has remained constant since 2001.
Most of these farms were small operations. In fact, almost half (47.5%) of them had gross receipts of less than $25,000. However, 3.4% had receipts of $1 million or more, higher than the national level (2.6%).
Field crop farms accounted for the highest proportion of farm operations in CMAs, nearly one-third (31.2%). They were followed by the category "other animal production," which includes horse farms. They accounted for 18.8% of CMA farms. Beef farms accounted for 16.7%, fruit and vegetable farms 12.9%, and greenhouses, nurseries and floriculture (including sod), 9.4%.
Greenhouses, nurseries and floriculture rely on an urban market for sales. In 2005, they accounted for 24.4% of all gross farm receipts among farms in CMAs, compared with only 7.5% on a national level.
Organic farms are also a good fit close to consumers. In 2006, 6.8% of farms in Canada reported that they were producing uncertified, transitional or certified organic products. In CMAs, the proportion was 8.3%.
British Columbia had the largest concentration of organic farms in metropolitan areas: 30.9% of farms in the Victoria CMA report organic production, Vancouver 15.7%, and Kelowna 12.3%.
More farmers working off the farm
More farmers are working off the farm than five years ago. Nearly half (48.4%) of all farm operators reported an off-farm job or business on the 2006 Census, compared with 44.5% in 2001.
Both men and women work off the farm in significant numbers. However, in 2006, for the first time, the proportion of female operators who reported off-farm work reached one-half (50.4%). In comparison, 47.6% of men had off-farm work.
Fewer farmers were working full time on the farm. In 2006, about 46.7% of farmers reported working more than 40 hours a week on their farm operations, down from 47.7% five years earlier.
In contrast, more than one-fifth (20.2%) of farmers reported working more than 40 hours a week off the farm. This was an increase from 17.6% in 2001.
From Quebec and westward the proportion of farm operators working off the farm increased in every province. The biggest increases by far were in Alberta and Saskatchewan, probably due to work opportunities in the oil industry and Alberta's booming economy in recent years.
This is the first of a number of data releases from the 2006 Census of Agriculture. All farm and operator data are available for free at (www.statcan.ca) to the census consolidated subdivision (CCS) level. Data at the province, census agriculture region (CAR) and census division (CD) levels include comparisons with 2001.
The Agriculture-Population linkage will be released in the fall of 2008. This versatile database matches farm operators with the information they provided on the Census of Population long-form questionnaires. It allows the farm population to be compared with the general population for characteristics such as marital status, level of schooling, unpaid work and total household income.
Beginning this fall, Statistics Canada will be taking a new direction with one of its flagship publications -- Canadian Agriculture at a Glance. Articles will appear on Statistics Canada's website at regular intervals starting in the fall of 2007. In the spring of 2009, they and additional analytical articles will be published in one book. This new approach will mean more timely analytical and educational material.
The three reports, Snapshot of Canadian Agriculture, The Financial Picture of Farms in Canada and Farming in Canada's CMAs are now available on Statistics Canada's website.
Statistics Canada would like to thank the Canadian farming community for their participation and assistance in the 2006 Census of Agriculture.
Source: Statistics Canada
Canada's national cattle herd continued to decline in 2006, plunging by 515,000 head in the wake of renewed live cattle exports to the United States. Last year marked the first full year the border has been open to Canadian cattle shipments since 2002.
As of January 1, 2007, cattlemen reported 14.3 million head on their farms, down 3.5% from the previous year and 748,000 below the January record established in 2005, when closed borders forced producers to keep more of their farm stock off the market.
Despite the drop, the 2007 inventory was still 827,000 above the January 1, 2003 level, prior to the border closure, according to the annual January Livestock Survey of 10,000 producers.
The American border was reopened to live cattle under 30 months of age on July 18, 2005. The ban on Canadian cattle and beef took effect after the disclosure of a case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) on May 20, 2003.
In general, inventories in the West rose during the early 1990s as farmers increased production in response to expanding export markets. With the closure of the US markets, thousands of cattle were held back on Canadian farms. As the cattle inventories trend lower, the Canadian industry is returning to the way it was before the borders were closed.
The livestock survey also showed declines in both hog and sheep inventories during the year. Hog producers indicated they had 14.3 million head at January 1, 2007. Farmers reported 886,000 sheep on their farms, down 1.1%.
Exports of live cattle struggle upwards
Exports of live cattle to the United States rose rapidly once the border was reopened in July 2005. However, monthly exports tumbled in the spring of 2006 as drought-stricken US ranchers shipped cattle early, pushing US slaughter levels up and prices down. Reduced US demand for Canadian cattle, coupled to lower prices in this country, partially due to a strong Canadian dollar, discouraged Canadian exports.
In September, cattle exports to the United States rallied. By October 2006, exports were comparable to pre-BSE levels with 114,000 head shipped south, valued at $135 million.
In 2006, total estimated cattle exports amounted to 1,038,500 head. Although this figure is almost twice the previous year, which is reasonable as the border reopened in July 2005, it remains 38.5% below the 1,688,100 exported in 2002 (pre-BSE). There were no exports from June 2003 to June 2005.
Once the border reopened to cattle, beef meat exports declined, partially offsetting the higher cattle exports.
Cattle herd declines in all regions
Cattle numbers fell in all provinces with the West accounting for over three-quarters of the drop. The western herd combined fell by 420,000 head.
Alberta's herd, the largest of any province, declined 3.7%, Saskatchewan's edged down 0.7%, and Manitoba's was off by 7.4%. In British Columbia, the herd dropped by 10.6%. In Central Canada, Quebec's cattle count slipped 0.7%, while Ontario's was 3.9% lower.
The combined picture for Canada and the United States remained stable as of January 1, 2007. Decreases in Canadian cattle inventories have been partially offset by a small increase in the United States, resulting in a combined herd of 111.3 million head.
Slaughter levels have also been a key factor in the cattle business. During 2004 and the first half of 2005, levels hit record highs. They were fuelled by increased slaughter capacity, domestic demand, strong international demand for Canadian beef and lower levels of beef imports.
However, levels have tapered off because of lower exports of beef meat now that the border is open to live cattle and supplies in the United States have increased. At 4.2 million head, slaughter in 2006 was down 7.1% from the previous 12 months.
Prices during the second half of 2006 were 3.3% below the same period in 2005. Although prices improved during the fall of 2005, following several years of low prices, they weakened in the spring of 2006. This was partially due to dry conditions in the United States, which pushed cattle into the feedlots in record numbers, and partially due to a strong Canadian dollar. Interestingly, the spread between Canadian and US feeder cattle prices has narrowed and are now moving in tandem.
Recently, feed grain prices have been on the rise. Not only does this increase the cost of feeding cattle for producers, but it also puts downward pressure on the price that feedlots pay cattle producers for feeder cattle.
Hog Industry growth stabilizes
Canadian hog inventories as of January 1, 2007 were down compared with the same period a year earlier but up slightly from October 1, 2006, as international exports surged. This marked the first quarterly inventory increase after farmers previously reported declines for five consecutive quarters, which reflected weaker slaughter prices in 2006.
According to the 2007 January Livestock Survey, there were 14.3 million hogs on farms as of January 1, 2007, 2.7% below the same date last year while up marginally from October 1, 2006.
Farmers exported hogs to other countries at a record pace -- 6.4 million hogs during the first nine months of 2006. This surpassed the previous record established in 2004. Overall, three out of five exported animals were younger hogs, called weaners, for feeding in the United States. As feeding costs are increasing, the weaner export market remains attractive to Canadian farrowing producers.
Hog slaughter prices weakened in the fall of 2005 and have remained relatively low since. During the first nine months of 2006, the average price for hogs was 14.2% lower than the same period in 2005. Lower prices led to a 15.3% drop in hog farm cash receipts during the first nine months of 2006.
Domestic slaughter has continued to decline after reaching a record high in 2004, mainly because of lower prices paid to producers and higher feeding costs. Hog slaughter dropped 2.4% between 2005 and 2006.
Source: Statistics Canada
Third quarter 2006
Previous releaseHog inventories appear to have tumbled for the fifth consecutive quarter, as prices remained low and disease caused havoc for many producers in Eastern Canada.
Farmers reported 14.1 million hogs on their farms as of October 1, 2006, according to a survey taken in early September. This was down 2.4% from the second quarter of 2006, and 5.3% below the same date last year.
Hogs inventories in Eastern Canada, as of October 1, 2006, were down a substantial 8.0% from the same time last year. Those in Western Canada fell 1.8%.
Diseases, such as porcine circovirus and others, continued to plague hog production in Quebec and Ontario. Since the second quarter 2005, the rate of losses to disease has been double that of prior years.
Although hog prices have improved modestly in recent months, they remained soft earlier in the year, in part because of a stronger dollar. During the first six months of 2006, the average price for hogs was 19.4% lower than the same period in 2005.
With weak prices, hog farm cash receipts during the first half of 2006 plunged to $1.7 billion, down 19.3% from the same period last year.
In 2006, international exports of Canadian hogs reached near-record levels. Over the years, an increasing number of younger hogs have been exported to the United States for feeding, as farmers take advantage of abundant corn supplies south of the border.
Hog slaughter in Canada slipped 2.6% in the first nine months of 2006 from the same period in 2005. This is consistent with lower prices paid to producers since 2004.
Domestic slaughter rose steadily from 1999 to 2004, reaching a record high of 22.9 million head in 2004. Since then, levels have been declining.
Estimate of production of principal field crops
Prairie farmers report that crop production should decline from 2005 record levels. Ontario farmers should produce less grain corn and soybeans; however, production is expected to remain above the 10-year average. In Quebec, soybean production may break the record while grain corn production is expected to diminish.
Data from the annual September Farm Survey of 17,100 farmers, which was conducted from September 5 to September 12, revealed only moderate changes from the preliminary crop production survey report released in August. The notable exception was in Manitoba where conditions improved considerably right up to the harvest.
Above-average temperatures and dry conditions combined to stress western crops, but also allowed for quicker crop maturity and an early harvest. Many areas reported having most of their crop harvested at the time of the survey.
Manitoba crop production should rebound strongly from levels in 2005, when excessively wet conditions had devastated crops. Late season heat is reported to have made some impressive increases in grain and oilseed production.
In the East, Quebec and Ontario farmers continue to expect above-average production for most major crops. The harvest for corn and soybeans remains several weeks away.
Prairie canola production expected to fall
Prairie farmers reported that they expect to harvest 8.4 million tonnes of canola, down 1.1 million tonnes from the 9.5 million tonnes harvested in 2005. Production should remain well above the 10-year average of 6.8 million tonnes. The anticipated decline is due to a drop in yield from an estimated 32.6 bushels per acre to 28.8 bushels per acre. Harvested area is expected to remain unchanged from 2005.
Manitoba farmers reported a considerable jump in expected canola production from the crop report released in August. The estimated production has now reached a record 1.8 million tonnes, eclipsing the old record set in 1998 by 11,400 tonnes. Yield could also enter record territory at 32.1 bushels per acre. The previous record was 31.3 bushels per acre set in 2003.
Saskatchewan production could fall 21.0% to 3.7 million tonnes, while Alberta farmers expect a 18.9% decline to 3.0 million tonnes. Both decreases are the result of significant declines in expected yields.
Flaxseed production declines
In the Prairies, flaxseed production could fall 11.3% to 959,400 tonnes. This is the result of an anticipated drop in yield from 21.5 acres per bushel in 2005 to 18.4 bushels per acre in 2006, near the 10-year average of 19.1 bushels per acre.
Producers in Saskatchewan, where the majority of Canadian flaxseed is grown, reported an expected decline in production of 18.6% to 717,100 tonnes, while Manitoba farmers reported a strong increase of 38.6% to 204,200 tonnes.
Spring wheat production up marginally
Prairie farmers expect to harvest 18.8 million tonnes of spring wheat, up 2.3% from 18.3 million tonnes in 2005. The 10-year average is 17.6 million tonnes. Harvested area is expected to rise by 2.7 million acres, but the yield could drop from 39.7 bushels per acre to 35.1 bushels per acre.
Manitoba farmers expect a strong increase in spring wheat production, up 49.2% to 3.5 million tonnes, the result of strong increases in yield and harvested acres. The 10-year average production is 3.3 million tonnes.
The spring wheat harvest in Alberta could fall 9.1% to 6.7 million tonnes, as yield is expected to drop by 6.9 bushels per acre. Saskatchewan farmers now expect a minor output decline of 46,300 tonnes to 8.6 million tonnes, the result of a lower yield but an increase in harvested area.
Durum production tumbles
Durum wheat production in the Prairies is expected to fall 40.2% to 3.5 million tonnes, down 2.4 million tonnes from 2005. The 10-year average production is 4.7 million tonnes. This decline is attributable to an average drop of 7.3 bushels per acre and to 1.5 million fewer harvested acres.
Production in Saskatchewan, where over three quarters of Canadian durum is grown, could decline 2.0 million tonnes to 2.8 million tonnes. Alberta farmers reported an estimated 32.3% decline in production to 691,300 tonnes, the result of 260,000 fewer harvested acres.
Feed grain production mixed
Prairie barley production should fall 20.5% to 9.2 million tonnes, as both yield and harvested area are expected to decline. The 10-year average production is 11.4 million tonnes.
Manitoba production was reported to have surged 80.2% to 1.2 million tonnes, returning to the 10-year average. Saskatchewan output is likely to drop 36.0% to 3.4 million tonnes, while Alberta production is expected to fall by 18.0% to 4.6 million tonnes.
Oat production in the Prairie Provinces could rise 11.1% to 3.3 million tonnes, the result of a similar increase in harvested area, and in line with the 10-year average of 3.1 million tonnes.
Provincially, oat production in Manitoba should rebound 121.4% to 975,600 tonnes, while Saskatchewan production should edge up 1.5% to 1.7 million tonnes. Oat production in Alberta is expected to fall 26.6% to 630,800 tonnes.
Field pea production should decline in the Prairies
Prairie field pea production should fall 347,700 tonnes from 2005 to 2.7 million tonnes, as yield is expected to drop 15.5%. The 10-year production average is 2.2 million tonnes.
Manitoba production should rebound 37.1% to 85,700 tonnes, an estimate still considerably short of the 10-year average of 147,200 tonnes. In Saskatchewan, farmers reported a 15.0% production decrease to 2.1 million tonnes, the result of a 6.1 bushel per acre drop in yield. At 2.7 million acres, the harvested area could be a record, eclipsing the one set in 2005 at 2.6 million acres. Dry pea harvested area has been rising in Saskatchewan since 2003. In Alberta, production may drop slightly by 1.2% to 609,900 tonnes, the result of a 7.2 bushel per acre drop in yield. The 10-year average production is 492,000 tonnes.
Ontario and Quebec farmers expect to produce less grain corn
Quebec farmers expect corn production to fall 19.1% to 2.8 million tonnes, an estimate not seen since 2000 and below the 10-year production average of 2.9 million tonnes. This reduction would be attributable to a smaller harvested area and to a lower estimated yield compared to 2005.
In Ontario, production estimates for corn were down 1.8% to 5.7 million tonnes, the result of a 6.9 bushel per acre decline in yield. Production should remain well above the 10-year average of 5.4 million tonnes.
Soybean production may break a record in Quebec but could decline in Ontario
Soybean production in Quebec is expected to increase 5.0% from 2005 to a potential record 530,000 tonnes, the result of a rise in harvested area and above-average yield estimates. The previous record production was 520,000 tonnes, set in 2004.
Soybean production in Ontario could fall by 3.5% from 2005 to 2.5 million, a value still well above the 10-year average of 2.1 million tonnes. This reduction would be the result of a decline of 125,000 acres of harvested area.
Source: Statistics Canada
Study: Bioproducts industry 2004
Most of the 232 companies in Canada involved in making bioproducts in 2003 did so as just part of their total business activities, according to a new study. Still, bioproducts provided revenues of just over $3 billion a year to these firms.
Bioproducts accounted for about one-third of their 24,118 employees, and about one-quarter of their total revenues. Nearly half of Canadian bioproduct sales were derived from exports.
Bioproducts are non-food products developed from biological or renewable material which can come from agricultural, food, forestry, marine and industrial or municipal sources. Crops and forest products were the main inputs for bioproducts.
The most familiar bioproduct is ethanol made from corn or wheat. However, bioproducts also include products such as clothing from hemp, decking from plant fibre and plastic water bottles made from corn instead of oil. In Canada, more firms use inputs from agricultural sources than any other source.
The study, published in the current issue of Vista on the Agri-food Industry and the Farm Community, was prepared in advance of the World Congress on Industrial Biotechnology and Bioprocessing scheduled for Toronto from July 12 to 16. It used data from the Bioproducts Development Survey, sponsored by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada and conducted by Statistics Canada in 2004.
Three provinces (Quebec, Ontario and British Columbia) accounted for 70% of the 232 bioproducts firms in 2003. Of the total, 157 firms had fewer than 50 employees, 39 had between 50 and 149, and 36 had 150 employees or more.
For many Canadian firms, bioproducts was a new business activity. About one-third had entered the bioproducts sector within the five years prior to the survey, mainly as a result of internal research and development projects.
Firms cited several benefits from their involvement in bioproduct activities, mainly increased sales and market share, and developing new market niches and new products.
In 2003, companies reported an average of 4.5 bioproducts per firm. About 60% of the bioproducts were already on the market, 18% were in mid-development, and 22% were in the early stages.
Many types of bioproducts were under development. The largest category was bio-chemicals, which made up 41% of all bioproducts under development or on the market.
Bio-fuels/bio-energy products were primarily being developed by large companies with 150 employees or more, likely due to significant resource requirements. Agricultural inputs were especially important in the production of bio-fuels.
A recent report commissioned by the Canadian Renewable Fuels Association noted that Canada produced just 250 million litres of bio-fuels in 2004, compared to the 12.9 billion litres in the United States.
However, domestic production of bio-fuels could increase to over 3 billion litres by 2010 (representing 5% of total gasoline consumption) in response to new provincial and federal targets dramatically increasing demand for agricultural inputs.