Canada Shifts Into Cereals

OTTAWA - Apr 27/18 - SNS -- Canadian farmers intend to increase the amount of land sown to field crops this year, with land intended to be left fallow dropping from 2.2 million to a record low 1.921 million acres, according to Statistics Canada seeding intentions report.

The change reflects a shift into cereal grains. Farmers intend to plant more wheat, barley and corn, while decreasing canola, soybeans, and pulses.

Statistics Canada said farmers across Canada intend to seed 25.3 million acres of all varieties of wheat, up 12.8% over 2017. Seeding intentions for spring wheat indicate a 15.4% gain over 2017, to 18.2 million acres, while durum wheat acreage is expected to increase 11.0% to 5.8 million acres.

Provincially, producers in Alberta anticipate their total wheat area to increase by 9.6% from 2017 to 7.7 million acres in 2018. 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 (-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. 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 3.0 million acres of all varieties of wheat, up 13.1% from 2017.

Canola and Soybeans

Canadian farmers are expecting to seed 21.4 million acres of canola in 2018, down 7.0% from 2017. 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.

Farmers in Alberta also expect lower canola acreage, down 4.0% from the record high set in 2017, to 6.7 million acres.

Meanwhile, Manitoba producers are expecting canola area to remain unchanged from 2017 at 3.2 million acres.

At the national level, farmers intend to seed 6.5 million acres of soybeans in 2018, down 11.4% from the record high in 2017. This is the result of declines expected in most provinces.

Producers in Manitoba are expecting a 14.4% decline to 2.0 million acres in 2018. This would be the first decrease in the province since 2007. Ontario farmers expect to seed 3.0 million acres, down 1.8% from 2017, while Quebec's acreage is expected to decline 12.3% to 863,000 acres.

Coarse Grains

Canadian farmers in almost every province expect to seed more barley in 2018 (+5.1%), which would drive up acreage to 6.1 million acres nationally.

However, areas seeded to oats are expected to edge down 1.6% to 3.1 million acres. Saskatchewan farmers expect to plant 1.5 million acres (-6.7%), while Alberta producers anticipate planting 679,000 acres (-1.6%).

Canadian corn for grain acreage is anticipated to rise 5.1% from 2017 to 3.8 million acres.

In Ontario, farmers expect to plant 2.2 million acres in 2018 (+2.4%), while Quebec producers anticipate seeding 1.0 million acres (+8.1%).

Manitoba farmers expect to plant 455,000 acres of corn for grain in 2018, up 11.0% from 2017, leading to a possible record high level for the province.


Canadian farmers expect total lentil acreage to decline 8.1% from 2017, to 4.1 million acres in 2018. This would be driven by farmers in Saskatchewan, who anticipate an 8.4% decrease to 3.6 million acres.

Similarly, areas seeded to dry field peas are expected to decrease 5.5% from 2017 to 3.9 million acres, driven by Alberta farmers who anticipate a 13.1% drop to 1.6 million acres in 2018.