By Meghan Moran, OMAFRA Canola and Edible Bean Specialist
In 2018 there was an increase in spring canola acreage in Ontario compared to the previous two years. Insured acres totaled approximately 30,000 ac in 2016 and 2017, whereas there was nearly 40,000 ac insured by Agricorp in 2018.
Canola acreage increased across many regions, but the most notable increase was the jump from approximately 8,000 ac in Temiskaming in 2017 to nearly 13,000 ac in 2018. Rainy River and Thunder Bay also saw an increase in acres with 3,064 ac grown across the two regions combined. There were modest increases in acreage in Grey, Bruce, Huron, and Dufferin and modest decreases in acreage in Nipissing and Wellington compared to 2017.
Quality and Yield
Fields that were planted early or were in very dry areas were ready to harvest by the first week of August in Bruce, Grey, Dufferin and Wellington Counties. Rain in early August resulted in the delayed harvest of some fields and caused re-flowering in many areas. Much of the canola was harvested in August and September; however, a few fields in Temiskaming District were not yet harvested in early November.
Where canola was under significant moisture stress during high temperatures, such as in parts of Huron, Bruce and Grey Counties, some fields were yielding as low as 500 lb/ac. These were unfortunate circumstances, but many producers finished the canola season with strong yields. Later-planted fields and those with good moisture holding capacity were above average for many growers. Despite the extreme conditions there was only one known instance of heated seed.
Average yields reported by Agricorp for West Nipissing, Dufferin and Wellington were approximately 2600 lb/ac, followed closely by Bruce, Huron, Oxford, Perth, Algoma, Cochrane and Sudbury at just under 2500 lb/ac. Acres of canola have been increasing in Thunder Bay and Rainy River, and yields in the region were strong at approximately 2,380 lb/ac. The average yield in Temiskaming was 2,217 lb/ac. The combined regions of Simcoe, Halton, Durham, Peel and York had an average yield of 2,130 lb/ac. Grey County was low yielding on average this year, at approximately 1,690 lb/ac. Eastern Ontario was a