Statistics Canada estimates that Canadian farmers planted 6.3 million acres of soybeans in 2018, a decrease of 13.2 % from the previous year. In its Principal Field Crops report on June 29, the agency said the four largest soybean producing provinces in the country—Ontario, Manitoba, Quebec and Saskatchewan—all planted fewer acres.
According to a recent Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada outlook for principal field crops report, attractive wheat prices, dry weather across Western provinces where most of the decline occurred, and burdensome world soybean supplies all contributed to this year’s acreage decline.
In Ontario, area seeded to soybeans was 3.0 million acres, down 1.8% from a year ago. For the first time in a decade, Manitoba farmers planted fewer soybean acres, down 17.5% to 1.9 million acres in 2018.
In Quebec, the area planted to soybeans was down 7.0% from 2017 to 915,000 acres. Saskatchewan farmers also reported fewer acres, seeding 407,500 acres, a decline of 52.1% from last year.
Canadian farmers reported their total acreage seeded to corn for grain remained relatively stable at 3.6 million acres in 2018, up 1.6% from 2017.
In Ontario, the largest producing province, farmers planted 2.2 million acres of corn for grain, an increase of 1.7% compared with 2017.
In Quebec, farmers reported a 1.5% increase from 2017, seeding 953,000 acres of corn for grain in 2018. Area seeded to corn for grain in Manitoba also rose in 2018, up 4.4% to a record 428,000 acres.
Canadian farmers reported an overall increase in the area sown to all wheat varieties in 2018, up 10.4% to 24.7 million acres. The gain was mainly driven by a 9.5% rise in spring wheat seeded area in Western Canada, which increased by 1.5 million acres in 2018. Durum wheat seeded area rose by 980,400 acres (+18.8%), which has also contributed to the gain of wheat area sown in 2018.
Canadian farmers reported seeding 22.7 million acres of canola in 2018, down 1.1% from 23.0 million acres in 2017.
The overall decline in canola area was the result of reduced areas in Saskatchewan and Alberta. The seeded area reported by Saskatchewan farmers was down 3.5% from 2017 to 12.3 million acres. In Alberta, producers sowed 6.8 million acres (-1.7%).
Meanwhile, in Manitoba, producers reported that their area seeded to canola increased 8.1% in 2018 to 3.4 million acres, potentially at the expense of soybean acreage that decreased this year. In Ontario, farmers planted 63,000 acres, up from 45,000 in 2017.
Barley and oats:
Total area seeded to barley rose 12.7% from last year to 6.5 million acres in 2018. Alberta farmers planted 3.1 million acres, up 9.3% from 2017. Saskatchewan’s area sown to barley increased 15.8% to 2.7 million acres. The acreage in Ontario is estimated at 90,000, up from 80,000 in 2017.
Canadian farmers reported seeding 3.1 million acres of oats, down 4.6% from 2017. In Saskatchewan, the area sown to oats fell 15.4% to 1.4 million acres. In Alberta, farmers reported seeding 795,100 acres of oats, up 15.2% from 2017. Ontario farmers reported 74,000 acres, up from 70,000 the previous year.
Lentils and peas:
Canadian farmers reported that areas seeded to lentils decreased 14.5% in 2018 to 3.8 million acres. Acreage seeded to dry peas fell 12.0% to 3.6 million acres.