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Western Canada crop planting estimates for 2008

According to figures from FarmLink Marketing Solutions, seeding estimates for Western Canada are expected to rise 1.5 percent as wheat acres are forecast to rise by more than a million acres, with durum rising by 800,000 and canola up by half a million acres.


April 11, 2008
By FarmLink Marketing Solutions

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April 10, 2008

Winnipeg, MB – Canadian farmers will seed 1.5% more acres in total this year than last, according to crop market analysts at FarmLink Marketing Solutions. Making room for a 7% increase in non-durum wheat, 14% more durum and 3% more canola will be accomplished via a 16% reduction in summerfallow acres, 15% fewer oat acres, and marginal losses in barley and some pulse and special crop acres.

According to the numbers from FarmLink, wheat acres are set to rise from 16.8 million acres in 2007 (Statistics Canada data) to 18.1 million, a jump of 7.2 percent. Canola acres will jump only 3.1 percent, from 14.7 million to 15.2 million acres. Barley acres are projected to drop by 6.5 percent, from 10.86 million acres to 10.2 million.

The largest percentage jumps are forecast for flax (29.5 percent to 1.8 million acres), mustard, (27.5 percent to 600,000 acres) and lentils (21.5 percent to 1.7 million acres).  The largest percentage drops are expected in chickpeas (down 32.3 percent to 325,000 acres) and oats (15.0 percent, down to 4.7 million acres).  Summerfallow was the other projection to drop, from 7.65 million acres to 6.6 million, a decrease of 16 percent.

“We’re facing some very difficult decisions about what to plant in 2008, with the markets for almost every choice of crop vying for acres following a sharp reduction in supply levels this past year,” said Brenda Tjaden Lepp, Co-founder and Chief Analyst with FarmLink Marketing Solutions. “It seems hard to go wrong in deciding what to plant, since virtually every crop represents a good profit opportunity, but the optimal choice also involves managing agronomic issues, and speculation in less transparent markets. There are sure to be some surprises as the 2008 growing season plays out.”

These 2008 planting estimates are drawn from Supply and Demand tables for each crop that FarmLink maintains on an ongoing basis as part of developing crop marketing strategies for farm clients across Western Canada, and which are published on a quarterly basis for subscribers.