Wrapping up our #WhereDoGrainsGo series, we have Ontario wheat. Wheat is the third largest field crop in Ontario and each year Ontario produces on average, 2.3 million metric tones of wheat on 1 million acres. Ontario produces two different categories of wheat: winter and spring wheat. Within each category there are several different classes including: soft red winter, soft white winter, hard red winter, and hard red spring. Each category of wheat is used for different uses and is best suited to certain climates. Read about What wheat is grown in Ontario?
Did you know? One acre of grain is roughly the same size as 2.5 hockey rinks.
Did you know that 56% of the wheat grown right here in Ontario actually stays in Ontario? Most of that wheat goes to milling to make flour to use for human consumption in products like crackers, cookies, cereals, cakes, pastries and more. Over the past few years, local demand has increased so more wheat is being milled locally for local products.
If Ontario wheat is not used in mills, it may be used in animal feed, as 31% of domestic wheat is used to make animal feed. Most of the time this animal feed is for swine and poultry because they consume the highest amount of wheat in feed rations.
Wheat exports increased by 37% from 2016-2019, as Ontario exports 44% of its total wheat production. Most of that exported wheat is headed to places such as the United States and more recently Mexico and Brazil. Did you know that quite a bit of Ontario wheat, roughly 10% is exported to our next-door neighbors in Quebec? Quebec uses Ontario wheat in the same way that Ontario uses Ontario wheat; for milling and animal feed.
Wheat exports and domestic feed use of wheat varies widely from year to year and is based on the quality of the crop and pricing. A significant portion of Western Canadian wheat is also shipped to Ontario for milling due to the significant milling capacity within the province and the close proximity to customers.