Canada’s canola acres up from earlier forecast

Wheat acres up; barley, oats, corn revised lower

Canola south of Ethelton, Sask. on Aug. 3, 2017. (Dave Bedard photo)

MarketsFarm –– Canadian farmers seeded more canola in 2021 than originally intended, with a number of other crops also seeing adjustments higher as dry weather through the planting season allowed for a fast seeding pace.

In its June estimates of principal field crop areas, released Tuesday, Statistics Canada pegged total canola planted area at 22.5 million acres, up roughly a million acres from its earlier forecast, and also up from the 20.8 million acres seeded a year ago and the five-year average of 21.7 million acres.

“High global demand for oilseeds likely contributed to farmers’ decision to plant more canola,” StatsCan said, adding that prices are expected to remain high through the year.

Total wheat area in the country was estimated at 23.4 million acres, up by about 100,000 from the earlier forecast but still below the 25 million seeded in 2020.

“Dry conditions were a concern for farmers in parts of Western Canada throughout seeding and into the start of the growing season,” StatsCan said. “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.”

Pea and lentil seedings were also revised higher from the earlier estimate, at 3.8 million and 4.3 million acres respectively — both of which would be in line with the five-year averages.

Barley and oats acres were both down slightly from the April report, but at 8.3 million acres the barley area would still be well above the five-year average of 6.8 million.

Where April’s report had called for a 1.8 per cent increase in grain corn acres, Tuesday’s report marked nationwide corn area for 2021 at 3.47 million acres, down 2.5 per cent from 2020 and well down from the 3.62 million estimated in April.

Corn acres in Ontario, Quebec and Manitoba were estimated down two, 0.6 and 1.4 per cent in Tuesday’s report respectively compared to 2020 levels.

Soybean acres in June’s report were pegged at 5.32 million, down from 5.35 million in the late April report but still up 4.9 per cent from the 2020 planted area.

StatsCan said the year-over-year increase in soy area “may have been attributable to farmers responding to high global demand and higher prices.” Acres in Ontario, Quebec and Manitoba were up three, 4.5 and 14.5 per cent respectively.

Table: A recap of Statistics Canada’s estimates of principal field crop area as of June 2021, in millions of acres. April estimates, year-ago acreage and five-year averages are provided for comparison purposes. Figures are in million acres.

Crop.              . 2021-22.    . 2021-22.    . 2020-21.   . Five-year
(June) (April) average
Barley 8.296 8.613 7.561 6.780
Canola 22.479 21.530 20.783 21.715
Flax 1.026 0.982 0.931 0.942
Lentils 4.306 4.218 4.233 4.351
Peas 3.820 3.608 3.839 4.116
Oats 3.423 3.608 3.839 3.347
All wheat * 23.357 23.260 24.982 24.080
Durum 5.531 5.705 5.689 5.615

* includes spring wheat, durum wheat, and winter wheat remaining after winterkill

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