Rye production likely won’t increase in 2020

Fall rye flowering in south-central Manitoba. (Allan Dawson photo)

MarketsFarm — Strong prices served as an incentive for farmers to plant more rye in 2019, but one grower believes there won’t be as much production in 2020 due to the wet fall.

“Winter cereals got seeded, but not the acres guys were planning,” said Brad White, a Saskatchewan farmer and a director with Winter Cereals Canada.

Although rye is grown across Canada, the bulk of the crop is produced on the Prairies, particularly in Manitoba and Saskatchewan. The two provinces accounted for about 70.6 per cent of the 333,330 tonnes of rye harvested in Canada during 2019, according to Statistics Canada.

Manitoba farmers produced 132,500 tonnes of rye in 2019, which was an 89.6 per cent increase compared to 2018. But that was a little short of the 139,700 tonnes in 2016, according to Statistics Canada data.

Farmers in Saskatchewan reaped 102,800 tonnes, which was a leap of almost 90 per cent from the previous year, the federal agency found. However, that was well back of the 152,900 tonnes produced in 2016.

White cited two reasons for the uptick in rye production in 2019.

“The prices offered in the fall of 2018 got guys pretty excited,” he said, adding the prices exceeded $5 per bushel.

“Hybrid rye is driving things a little bit as guys are seeing good yields off of it,” he continued, adding that hybrid rye has caught on in a big way with growers in Manitoba and eastern Saskatchewan.

One of the benefits of growing rye is its strong weed competitiveness, as it doesn’t require as much herbicide and fungicide as other crops, White pointed out.

Prairie Ag Hotwire cited prices for rye of $5.50-$6 per bushel free on board across the Prairies as of Feb. 4.

Table: Rye production in Canada, in thousands of tonnes. Source: Statistics Canada.

Province.              .
2016.    .
2017.      .
2018.      .
Manitoba 139.7 131.8 69.9 132.5
Saskatchewan 152.9 113.0 47.4 102.8
Ontario 58.4 48.0 67.8 43.1
Alberta 59.7 33.5 30.0 26.8
Quebec 25.3 15.0 17.9 21.0
All others n/a n/a 3.4 7.1
Canada 436.0 341.3 236.4 333.3



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