Taking a look at imports – AgriLand visits Canada

Reporting from Ontario, Canada

Last year, almost 1.6 million tonnes of maize were imported into the Republic of Ireland – 1,599,917t to be exact. 49% of that maize came from Canada.

This week, AgriLand is travelling to Canada to visit the Grain Farmers of Ontario and learn about their farming systems and see the farms where that product is coming from.

69% of Canada’s grain corn is produced in Ontario. It is the second largest crop area in Ontario, but produces the largest volume. In total, between eight and nine million tonnes are produced from 870,000ha.

Ireland is the provinces biggest importer

In the past three years corn exports have grown, with 1.5 million tonnes of Ontario’s corn exported.

The EU was the top importer of that corn last year and of those countries Ireland imported the majority, followed by Spain and Portugal.

Grain production in Ontario

The Ontario grain farmers produce approximately 15 million tonnes of barley, corn (maize), oats, soybeans and wheat from 2.5 million hectares of land.

This equates to about $9 billion to the economy and creates 40,000 jobs.

Crops are planted in April, May and June – apart from wheat which is planted in the autumn time after soybeans.

Farm size

Farms range in size in the province from what is considered small at less than 400ha; to medium-sized farms which are between 400ha and 4,000ha, to large farms which are greater than 4,000ha.

Crop production and area figures (three-year average from 2016 to 2018) in Ontario:
  • Barley – 119,000t from 36,921ha;
  • Corn – 8,629,433t from 868,321ha;
  • Oats – 72,300t from 30,512ha;
  • Soybeans – 3,808,767t from 1,197,655ha;
  • Wheat – 2,414,333t from 433,769ha.

Over the course of the visit AgriLand will visit a number of different farms, seed producers, a distillery, a brewery and many more sites. Stay tuned for updates.