Wheat and canola

OTTAWA — Canadian growers intend to plant more wheat and less canola in 2018 than expected by the trade, according to data issued April 27 by Statistics Canada in its Principal Field Crop Areas report. 

Statistics Canada, based on a survey of producers conducted during March, indicated Canadian farmers intend to plant 25,259,000 acres to wheat for harvest this year, an area that would be 13% larger than the 22,391,000 acres seeded in 2017. The forecast caught the trade by surprise as it was above the range of pre-report projections that topped off at 24.2 million acres and averaged 23 million acres.

Statistics Canada forecast spring wheat area at 18,241,000 acres, 15% larger than the 2017 seeded area at 15,801,000 acres. Durum plantings were projected at 5,777,000 acres, up 15% from 5,205,000 acres a year ago. Winter wheat planted last fall for harvest this year was estimated at 1,242,000 acres, down 10% from 1,385,000 acres in 2017.

“Provincially, producers in Alberta anticipate their total wheat area to increase by 9.6% from 2017 to 7.7 million acres in 2018,” Statistics Canada said. “This gain is a result of an expected 14.7% 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 (down 12.8%).

“Producers in Saskatchewan expect total wheat to rise for the first time since 2013, up 15.8% from 2017 to 13.1 million acres in 2018,” Statistics Canada continued. “This is due to a 17.2% rise in acres intended for spring wheat, to 8.1 million acres. Farmers in Manitoba intend to plant 3 million acres of all varieties of wheat, up 13.1% from 2017.”

Canadian farmers intend to seed 21,383,000 acres to canola this spring, down 7% from 22,997,000 acres in 2017, according to Statistics Canada. The average of pre-report trade projections was 23.7 million aces.

“The overall expected decrease in seeded area is the result of Saskatchewan farmers anticipating a 10.5% 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,” Statistics Canada said. “Farmers in Alberta also expect lower canola acreage, down 4% from the record high set in 2017, to 6.7 million acres. Meanwhile, Manitoba producers are expecting canola area to remained unchanged from 2017, to 6.7 million acres.”

Area seeded to oats this year was forecast at 3,148,000 acres, down 2% from 3,200,000 acres in 2017.

“Saskatchewan farmers expect to plant 1.5 million acres (down 6.7%), while Alberta producers anticipate planting 679,000 acres (down 1.6%),” said Statistics Canada.