Hard red spring wheat may be the icon of the Canadian Prairies, but it’s not what puts the most money into Western farmers’ pockets. Look instead to those fields sprouting yellow blossoms earlier in the year.
Canola was the number one cash crop in Canada last year, worth $5.6 billion to farmers. That’s up 10 per cent from 2009. By comparison, all wheat in Canada drew a paltry $3.64 billion, corn brought in $1.44 billion and soybeans $1.2 billion. Surprisingly, Statistics Canada says overall farm cash crop receipts were worth $21.9 billion in 2010, down 6.3 per cent from 2009.