Canadian farmers expect to plant fewer acres of soybeans and canola in 2018, crops that were both at record high levels in 2017. According to the Principal Field Crops Report, released by Statistics Canada on Apr. 27, most of the acreage not seeded to major oilseeds and pulses this spring (compared with 2017) has shifted to cereal grains, since farmers anticipate areas of wheat, barley and corn to rise in 2018.
Corn for grain
At the national level, corn for grain acreage is anticipated to rise 5.1% from 2017 to 3.8 million acres.
In Ontario, farmers expect to plant 2.2 million acres in 2018 (+2.4%), while Quebec producers anticipate seeding 1.0 million acres (+8.1%).
Manitoba farmers expect to plant 455,000 acres of corn for grain in 2018, up 11.0% from 2017, leading to a possible record high level for the province.
At the national level, farmers intend to seed 6.5 million acres of soybeans in 2018, down 11.4% from the record high in 2017. This is the result of declines expected in most provinces.
Producers in Manitoba are expecting a 14.4% decline to 2.0 million acres in 2018. This would be the first decrease in the province since 2007.
Ontario farmers expect to seed 3.0 million acres, down 1.8% from 2017, while Quebec’s acreage is expected to decline 12.3% to 863,000 acres.
Nationally, farmers reported intending to seed 25.3 million acres of all varieties of wheat in 2018, up 12.8% over 2017. Seeding intentions for spring wheat indicate a 15.4% gain over 2017, to 18.2 million acres, while durum wheat acreage is expected to increase 11.0% to 5.8 million acres.
Provincially, producers in Alberta anticipate their total wheat area to increase by 9.6% from 2017 to 7.7 million acres in 2018. This gain is a result of an expected 14.7% increase in spring wheat acreage to 6.7 million acres. Conversely, less area should be seeded to durum, which is expected to decline to 951,000 acres (-12.8%).
Producers in Saskatchewan expect total wheat to rise for the first time since 2013, up 15.8% from 2017 to 13.1 million acres in 2018. This is due to a 17.2% rise in acres intended for spring wheat, to 8.1 million acres.
Farmers in Manitoba intend to plant 3.0 million acres of all varieties of wheat, up 13.1% from 2017.
In Ontario, farmers intend to plant 126,000 acres of spring wheat, up approximately 40% from last year’s acreage of 90,000. Of the 970,000 acres of winter wheat planted in the fall, Stats Can estimates 938,000 remain.
Canadian farmers are expecting to seed 21.4 million acres of canola in 2018, down 7.0% from 2017.
The overall expected decrease in seeded area is the result of Saskatchewan farmers anticipating a 10.5% decrease from the record high of 12.7 million acres set in 2017, to 11.4 million acres in 2018, bringing the acreage closer to the five-year average.
Farmers in Alberta also expect lower canola acreage, down 4.0% from the record high set in 2017, to 6.7 million acres.
Meanwhile, Manitoba producers are expecting canola area to remain unchanged from 2017 at 3.2 million acres.
Farmers in Ontario intend to plant 50,000 acres, up 11% from 45,000 in 2017.
Barley and oats
Canadian farmers in almost every province expect to seed more barley in 2018 (+5.1%), which would drive up acreage to 6.1 million acres nationally.
However, areas seeded to oats are expected to edge down 1.6% to 3.1 million acres. Saskatchewan farmers expect to plant 1.5 million acres (-6.7%), while Alberta producers anticipate planting 679,000 acres (-1.6%).
In Ontario, farmers are expected to plant 80,000 acres of barley (same as 2017) and 70,000 acres of oats (same as 2017).
Lentils and peas
Canadian farmers expect total lentil acreage to decline 8.1% from 2017, to 4.1 million acres in 2018. This would be driven by farmers in Saskatchewan, who anticipate an 8.4% decrease to 3.6 million acres.
Similarly, areas seeded to dry field peas are expected to decrease 5.5% from 2017 to 3.9 million acres, driven by Alberta farmers who anticipate a 13.1% drop to 1.6 million acres in 2018.