Canadian farmers expect to plant more canola, soybeans and oats in 2017, but fewer acres of durum wheat and lentils, crops that were both at high levels in 2016. Statistics Canada released its Principal Field Crops report on April 21. Here are the highlights:
At the national level, farmers intend to seed a record 7.0 million acres of soybeans, up 27.2% from 2016. Manitoba is showing the largest expected increase in area, up 34.6% to 2.2 million acres, another potential record high for this province.
Ontario farmers anticipate seeding 3.0 million acres, a rise of 11.4% over 2016, while Quebec’s acreage is expected to grow to a possible record high of 926,600 acres, up 15.4% over 2016.
Corn for grain
At the national level, corn for grain acreage is anticipated to rise to 3.8 million acres, an increase of 12.8% over 2016.
Provincially, farmers in Ontario expect a 9.6% increase to 2.2 million acres. Quebec farmers reported a similar increase (+9.7%) to 976,100 acres, while producers in Manitoba anticipate seeding 475,000 acres of corn for grain in 2017 (+37.7%).
Nationally, farmers reported intending to seed 23.2 million acres of all varieties of wheat in 2017, relatively unchanged from the area seeded in 2016. Western producers, accounting for 95% of this acreage, are expecting only a slight increase of 0.4% overall, to 22.0 million acres.
Alberta anticipates wheat acreage to be up 10.0% to 7.4 million acres, a possible record high, but less area is expected to be dedicated to durum, down 8.5% to 1.1 million acres.
Saskatchewan farmers expect wheat area to decrease 2.7% to 11.8 million acres. This is due to an 18.8% drop in acres intended for durum wheat, to an anticipated area of 4.1 million acres.
Farmers in Manitoba intend to plant 2.7 million acres of wheat, down 9.0% from 2016.
Ontario farmers intend to plant 75,000 acres of spring wheat, down approximately 17% from last year. The number of winter wheat acres remaining after winterkill is estimated at 855,000. Last fall, Stats Can says farmers planted 875,000 acres of winter wheat.
Canadian farmers are expecting to seed more canola in 2017, up to a potential record-high 22.4 million acres (+9.9%).
In Saskatchewan, the largest canola-producing province, farmers anticipate seeding 12.3 million acres (+10.6%) in 2017, compared with 11.1 million acres in 2016.
Farmers in Alberta also expect an increase in canola acreage, up to 6.8 million acres, a rise of 14.6% over 2016. These could represent record-high areas for both Saskatchewan and Alberta.
Manitoba producers, though, expect a slight decrease, as farmers anticipate seeding 3.1 million acres of canola, down 1.7% from 2016.
In Ontario, farmers intend to plant 60,000 acres, well above 2016’s acreage of 35,000
Barley and oats
Canadian farmers across almost all provinces report that they intend to seed less barley in 2017 (-8.0%), driving down acreage to 5.9 million acres nationally.
Ontario farmers expect to plant 100,000 acres, which is the same as 2016.
On the other hand, areas seeded to oats are expected to rise in most provinces (+20.6% over 2016), to 3.4 million acres. The only exception where a potential drop is foreseen is Alberta, where farmers plan to seed 690,000 acres to the crop, a 4.2% decrease compared with 2016.
In Ontario, farmers intend to plant 70,000 acres, up close to 17%.