About Ontario Wheat
Ontario wheat is grown by over 17,000 producers on one of the most diverse wheat growing landscapes in the world. Over our 100 year history of commercial wheat production in Canada, Ontario has evolved to become the highest quality soft wheat region in North America.
Over the last ten years, Ontario wheat has experienced a transformation from a predominantly rotational crop to one of importance in producers’ commercial crop planning. This has created the annual export availability of upwards of one million tonnes of one of Canada’s best kept secrets - Ontario wheat.
Situated between the Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence River Basin, Ontario’s temperate climate and fertile soils are key components to producing top quality wheat. Ontario’s varied geography and size results in diversified wheat production - from soft wheats in the southwest to hard wheats in the east.
Other key advantages to Ontario wheat include our proximity to a strong transportation infrastructure of highways, rail lines and river access to ocean ports and our ample supply of energy resources.
The St. Lawrence seaway is the main conduit for grain exports from Ontario to overseas ports. Wheat is loaded on lake vessels from Ontario bay ports and transported through the St. Lawrence river system to ocean ports in the province of Quebec on the Atlantic ocean.
Ontario is the most diverse wheat growing region in Canada due to our ability to grow high quality winter and spring wheat.
There are four distinct classes of wheat grown commercially and two more classes in developmental research trials. The four classes of wheat are soft red and soft white winter wheat primarily used in pastries and cakes, hard red winter wheat used for crackers, bread/flour coatings and flat breads and hard red spring wheat grown for bread.
The two new classes of wheat in development are hard white spring wheat used for whole wheat white bread and durum wheat for pasta.
Feed wheat is also grown in Ontario in small quantities for local livestock operations.
The predominant type of wheat grown is soft red winter wheat grown in the southwestern region of the province.
Canada has one of the most sophisticated grain quality control systems in the world. Maintained by the Canadian Grain Commission (CGC), an independent agency, this system ensures our customers receive the grain quality and consistency they require. The cornerstones of this quality assurance system are stringent variety registration and grading systems.
In 2009, there will be approximately one million tonnes available for export sales. In 2008, over 800,000 tonnes of Ontario wheat was exported successfully to overseas destinations.