Record Oilseed Areas in Canada

OTTAWA - Apr 21/17 - SNS -- Western Canadian farmers will further reduce the amount f land set aside as summerfallow as part of a general increase in oilseed plantings, according to Statistics Canada's seeding intentions report for 2017.

Canola seedings could reach a record 22.4 million acres this year, while soybean seedings are expected to jump 27.2% to a record 7 million acres.

Manitoba is showing the largest expected increase in soybean area, up 34.6% to 2.2 million acres, another potential record high for this province. Ontario farmers anticipate seeding 3.0 million acres, a rise of 11.4% over 2016, while Quebec's acreage is expected to grow to a possible record high of 926,600 acres, up 15.4% over 2016.

Saskatchewan farmers intend to boost land in the crop from 240,000 to 730,000 acres. Given the areas where soybeans are sown in that province, it seems likely that some farmers diverted land from lentils to soybeans as part of an effort to combat aphanomyces.

The only effective method to control the disease is six to eight year rotations between susceptible crops. Farmers can keep pulses in their rotations by seeding soybeans, fababeans, and chickpeas because they have good resistance to the disease.

In the case of canola, Saskatchewan farmers anticipate seeding 10.6% more at 12.3 million acres. Farmers in Alberta also expect an increase in canola acreage, up to 6.8 million acres, a rise of 14.6% over 2016. These could represent record-high areas for both Saskatchewan and Alberta. Manitoba producers, though, expect a slight decrease, as farmers anticipate seeding 3.1 million acres of canola, down 1.7% from 2016.


Nationally, farmers reported intending to seed 23.2 million acres of all varieties of wheat in 2017, relatively unchanged from the area seeded in 2016. Western producers, accounting for 95% of this acreage, are expecting only a slight increase of 0.4% overall, to 22.0 million acres.

Alberta anticipates wheat acreage to be up 10.0% to 7.4 million acres, a possible record high, but less area is expected to be dedicated to durum, down 8.5% to 1.1 million acres.

Saskatchewan farmers expect wheat area to decrease 2.7% to 11.8 million acres. This is due to an 18.8% drop in acres intended for durum wheat, to an anticipated area of 4.1 million acres.

Farmers in Manitoba intend to plant 2.7 million acres of wheat, down 9.0% from 2016.

Canadian farmers across almost all provinces report that they intend to seed less barley in 2017 (-8.0%), driving down acreage to 5.9 million acres nationally.

On the other hand, areas seeded to oats are expected to rise in most provinces (+20.6% over 2016), to 3.4 million acres. The only exception where a potential drop is foreseen is Alberta, where farmers plan to seed 690,000 acres to the crop, a 4.2% decrease compared with 2016.

At the national level, corn for grain acreage is anticipated to rise to 3.8 million acres, an increase of 12.8% over 2016. Provincially, farmers in Ontario expect a 9.6% increase to 2.2 million acres. Quebec farmers reported a similar increase (+9.7%) to 976,100 acres, while producers in Manitoba anticipate seeding 475,000 acres of corn for grain in 2017 (+37.7%).