OTTAWA — Canadian farmers indicated they intend to plant 5% more durum but 6% less spring wheat and 4% less canola than in 2015, Statistics Canada said in its April 21 Principal Field Crop Areas report for March 2016.
Intended plantings of most oilseeds were lower while grains and other crops were mixed. Area for durum, winter wheat, barley, corn, dry field peas, fall rye, lentils and mustard seed was up from 2015, while planted area for spring wheat, oats, soybeans, canola, flaxseed, sunflowerseed, dry edible beans, chick peas, canary seed was lower.
The Statistics Canada numbers were above the average of trade expectations for all wheat, durum, barley, corn and lentils, but below the average for canola, soybeans, flaxseed and field peas.
Total area planted to all wheat was forecast at 23,846,000 acres, down 1% from 24,111,000 acres in 2015, Statistics Canada said. Spring wheat area was forecast at 16,044,000 acres, down 6% from last year, durum area at 6,120,000 acres, up 5%, and winter wheat area at 1,682,000 acres, up 32%.
“Each of the Prairie provinces expected lower seeding areas for wheat compared with 2015, while farmers in the East anticipate seeding more wheat,” Statistics Canada said.
Saskatchewan intended total wheat area was 12.6 million acres, down 3.5% from 2015, with spring wheat area at 7.1 million acres, down 10%, and durum area at 5.3 million acres, up 5.5%, and the highest since 2000.
Alberta farmers indicated they expect to plant 6.8 million acres of wheat, down less than 1%, including 5.8 million acres of spring wheat, down 2%, and 845,000 acres of durum, up 3%.
Manitoba growers intend to seed 2.8 million acres of spring wheat, down 3%.
Canola planted area for 2016 was forecast at 19,345,000 acres, down 4% from 20,095,000 acres last year. Area was forecast at 10.4 million acres in Saskatchewan, down 3%, at 5.6 million acres in Alberta, down 8%, and at 3.1 million acres in Manitoba, unchanged.
Farmers said they intend to plant 5,306,000 acres of soybeans, down 2% from last year, 1,115,000 acres of flaxseed, down 32%, and 80,000 acres of sunflowerseed, down 20%.
Planting intentions for corn were 3,477,000 acres, up 6%, for oats were 2,972,000 acres, down 11%, for barley were 6,777,000 acres, up 4%, and for fall rye were 337,000 acres, up 30%.
Dry edible bean area was expected to be 230,000 acres, down 11.5%, dry field pea area 4,280,000 acres, up 16%, chick pea area 100,000 acres, down 13%, lentil area 5,140,000 acres, up 30%, mustard seed area 430,000 acres, up 25%, and canary seed area 300,000 acres, down 8%.
Intended summerfallow area was 2,160,000 acres, down 16% from 2015 and down 44% from 2014.The March farm survey, which collects information for planting intentions from about 11,500 farmers, was conducted March 16-31, Statistics Canada said.