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StatsCan releases principal field crop info as of June 29


June 30, 2021
By Statistics Canada

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According to the June 2021 Field Crop Survey conducted by Statistics Canada, Canadian farmers reported planting more canola, barley, soybeans and lentils, but fewer acres of wheat, dry peas, corn for grain and oats.

Dry conditions were a concern for farmers in parts of Western Canada throughout seeding and into the start of the growing season. Precipitation at the start of the growing season was well below average, and although much of the Prairies have received some precipitation throughout May, lower-than-normal soil moisture continues to be a concern. Dry conditions did allow producers to begin planting early, with provincial reports indicating that seeding progressed at a relatively fast pace.

In Eastern Canada, at the time of seeding, soil moisture conditions were considered below normal in much of Ontario and southern Quebec, also due to lack of precipitation.

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Thumbnail for map 1: Difference from normal soil moisture (in millimetres) (drought model) as of June 14, 2021 (during the collection period), compared with annual average, by province

Difference from normal soil moisture (in millimetres) (drought model) as of June 14, 2021 (during the collection period), compared with annual average, by province. Map courtesy of AAFC.

Farmers reported planting less wheat

Canadian farmers reported planting 23.4 million acres of wheat in 2021, down 6.5 per cent from the previous year. Spring wheat declined 8.1 per cent to 16.5 million acres. Global wheat production is anticipated to increase compared to last year. If realized, higher worldwide production could result in lower wheat prices for Canadian farmers, possibly influencing some to plant less wheat than the previous year.

Durum wheat area decreased 2.8 per cent to 5.5 million acres, while winter wheat area fell 1.4 per cent to 1.3 million acres.

In Saskatchewan, wheat area fell 6.6 per cent to 12.0 million acres. Spring wheat area decreased 7.7 per cent to 7.4 million acres. Durum wheat fell 2.7 per cent to 4.5 million acres.

Alberta farmers reported planting 6.9 million acres of wheat, down 6.4 per cent from a year earlier. Spring wheat (-7.4 per cent, to 5.8 million acres) and durum wheat (-2.3 per cent, to 988,500 acres) both fell.

Farmers in Manitoba reported that total wheat area was down 8.7 per cent to 2.9 million acres.

Canola planting rises across the Prairies

Nationally, farmers reported planting 22.5 million acres of canola in 2021, up 8.2 per cent from a year earlier. High global demand for oilseeds likely contributed to farmers’ decision to plant more canola. Increased demand has resulted in record high exports as of March 2021, resulting in lower canola stocks. High demand, coupled with decreasing supply, pushed prices to record highs in the first half of 2021; prices are anticipated to remain high for the coming year.

Saskatchewan farmers reported planting 12.1 million acres of canola, up 6.9 per cent from a year earlier.

In Alberta, canola area rose 14.5 per cent from 2020 to 6.7 million acres.

Farmers in Manitoba reported that canola area was up 1.0 per cent to 3.4 million acres.

Soybean seeded area rises on high global demand

Nationally, producers reported 4.9 per cent more area seeded to soybeans, hitting 5.3 million acres in 2021. Higher planted acres may have been attributable to farmers responding to high global demand and higher prices.

Farmers in Ontario reported planting 3.0 per cent more acres of soybeans to 2.9 million acres, while farmers in Quebec reported planting 925,300 acres of soybeans, up 4.5 per cent.

Manitoba led the increase in soybean area, up 14.5 per cent from a year earlier to 1.3 million acres in 2021 — the first soybean area increase in the province in four years. Strong prices stemming from high demand for oilseeds and higher yields in 2020 compared with the last three years may have encouraged some farmers to increase soybean acreage.

Barley planting up from a year earlier while oats decline

Farmers planted 8.3 million acres of barley in 2021, up 9.7 per cent from the previous year. Barley area increased 18.7 per cent in Saskatchewan to 3.7 million acres. Meanwhile, farmers in Alberta also planted 5.6 per cent more barley, while Manitoba farmers planted 0.7 per cent less. High prices potentially contributed to farmers increasing barley area.

Farmers reported planting 10.8 per cent less oats, down to 3.4 million acres. In Saskatchewan, the largest oat-producing province, oat planting area fell 11.1 per cent to 1.6 million acres. Lower oat acreage may be the result of farmers choosing to plant crops fetching higher prices.

Corn for grain seeding falls

Nationally, farmers reported that corn for grain acreage was down 2.5 per cent from a year earlier to 3.5 million acres in 2021.

In Ontario, where more than 60 per cent of Canada’s corn is grown, seeded area fell 2.0 per cent to 2.1 million acres.

Farmers in Quebec reported seeded area falling 0.6 per cent, down to 885,800 acres.

Corn for grain seeded area in Manitoba declined 1.4 per cent to 367,100 acres.

Lentil area up while dry pea area falls

Canadian farmers reported planting 4.3 million acres of lentils in 2021, up 1.7 per cent from a year earlier.

Nationally, farmers reported seeding 10.2 per cent less dry pea area compared with 2020, down to 3.8 million acres. Alberta dry pea area decreased by 222,500 acres, while Saskatchewan fell 222,300 acres.