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Projected soybean and canola acres down this year

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 Statistics Canada's principal field crop report for March 2018. Seeding intentions of dry peas and lentils are also expected to decline, potentially due to weaker prices and to exports falling sharply.


April 27, 2018
By Statistics Canada

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Meanwhile, 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.

Wheat
Nationally, farmers reported intending to seed 25.3 million acres of all varieties of wheat in 2018, up 12.8 per cent over 2017. Seeding intentions for spring wheat indicate a 15.4 per cent gain over 2017, to 18.2 million acres, while durum wheat acreage is expected to increase 11 per cent to 5.8 million acres.

Provincially, producers in Alberta anticipate their total wheat area to increase by 9.6 per cent from 2017 to 7.7 million acres in 2018. This gain is a result of an expected 14.7 per cent 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 per cent).

Producers in Saskatchewan expect total wheat to rise for the first time since 2013, up 15.8 per cent from 2017 to 13.1 million acres in 2018. This is due to a 17.2 per cent rise in acres intended for spring wheat, to 8.1 million acres.

Farmers in Manitoba intend to plant three million acres of all varieties of wheat, up 13.1 per cent from 2017.

Canola
Canadian farmers are expecting to seed 21.4 million acres of canola in 2018, down seven per cent from 2017.

The overall expected decrease in seeded area is the result of Saskatchewan farmers anticipating a 10.5 per cent 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 four per cent 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.

Soybeans
At the national level, farmers intend to seed 6.5 million acres of soybeans in 2018, down 11.4 per cent from the record high in 2017. This is the result of declines expected in most provinces.

Producers in Manitoba are expecting a 14.4 per cent decline to 2.0 million acres in 2018. This would be the first decrease in the province since 2007. Ontario farmers expect to seed three million acres, down 1.8 per cent from 2017, while Quebec’s acreage is expected to decline 12.3 per cent to 863,000 acres.

Barley and oats
Canadian farmers in almost every province expect to seed more barley in 2018 (+5.1 per cent), which would drive up acreage to 6.1 million acres nationally.

However, areas seeded to oats are expected to edge down 1.6 per cent to 3.1 million acres. Saskatchewan farmers expect to plant 1.5 million acres (-6.7 per cent), while Alberta producers anticipate planting 679,000 acres (-1.6 per cent).

Corn for grain
At the national level, corn for grain acreage is anticipated to rise 5.1 per cent from 2017 to 3.8 million acres.

In Ontario, farmers expect to plant 2.2 million acres in 2018 (+2.4 per cent), while Quebec producers anticipate seeding one million acres (+8.1 per cent).

Manitoba farmers expect to plant 455,000 acres of corn for grain in 2018, up 11 per cent from 2017, leading to a possible record high level for the province.

Lentils and peas
Canadian farmers expect total lentil acreage to decline 8.1 per cent from 2017, to 4.1 million acres in 2018. This would be driven by farmers in Saskatchewan, who anticipate an 8.4 per cent decrease to 3.6 million acres.

Similarly, areas seeded to dry field peas are expected to decrease 5.5 per cent from 2017 to 3.9 million acres, driven by Alberta farmers who anticipate a 13.1 per cent drop to 1.6 million acres in 2018.