10/04/2011 08:48 EDT | Updated 12/04/2011 05:12 EST

Good weather boosts canola, barley, wheat production as harvest begins: StatsCan

OTTAWA - Harvest is underway and with good mid-summer weather conditions behind them, Western farmers are anticipating increased production of canola, along with higher volumes of barley and wheat.

Statistics Canada is reporting farmers in Ontario and Quebec expect lower yields and a smaller crop of corn for grain in 2011, while Quebec farmers anticipate a record soybean production.

The agency says total wheat production in the West is expected to reach 21.7 million metric tonnes in 2011, up three per cent over 2010.

Yield has been flat for four years and StatsCan says the trend will continue this year with an anticipated yield of 40.1 bushels per acre.

The rise in production was mainly attributable to an increase in durum wheat, which is expected to increase 30.2 per cent from 2010 to 3.9 million tonnes.

Western farmers reported that canola production could reach 12.8 million tonnes, up 1.1 per cent.

Canadian farmers anticipate that increased yields of barley will lead to a production of 7.9 million tonnes, up 3.8 per cent or 292,600 tonnes from 2010.

In Ontario, production estimates for corn for grain were down 13.8 per cent from 2010 to 6.7 million tonnes.

Quebec farmers expect corn for grain production to fall 12.9 per cent to three million tonnes in 2011, an anticipated decrease of 440,000 tonnes from 3.4 million tonnes in 2010.

Nationally, soybean production is expected to decrease to 3.9 million tonnes this year from 4.3 million tonnes in 2010, with most of the decline coming in Ontario.

Quebec farmers, however, are expecting a second consecutive record soybean harvest in 2011 at 820,000 tonnes, up 13,000 tonnes.