Canadian producers to plant record canola crop, boost soybean acres

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CNS Canada – Canadian oilseed acreage is set to boom according to the latest acreage estimates from Statistics Canada.

Today, the agency released its Principal Fields Crops Acreage Summary for 2017/18 on April 21.

It pegged canola acreage at a record 22.387 million acres, a jump of 2.02 million acres over last year.

“It’s no surprise that we see higher canola acres, but this number comes in at the high end of trade expectations,” said Mike Jubinville of ProFarmer Canada in Winnipeg.

He adds many farmers are going into canola with the primary focus of achieving higher returns per acre.

“With disease issues for cereal crops and uncertain demand prospects for pulses, canola still stands as one of those lone beacons,” he said.

Jubinville adds most of the gains in canola are situated in Alberta and Saskatchewan as farmers in Manitoba turned their gaze to soybeans.

According to the report, farmers in Canada will plant 6.956 million acres of soybeans this spring, up from last year’s number of 5.467 million.

“You tack on another 1.5 million acres (of soybeans) in Canada and US traders will make note of that,” said Ken Ball of PI Financial in Winnipeg.

He adds a significant portion of the new acres will be planted west of Manitoba, due to new and better varieties of seed.

“Canadian producers are yielding higher and higher with the better varieties,” he added.

Another surprise for some was the higher wheat acres that are expected to go in.

“We were a little bit surprised, the wheat came in higher than what our own expectations were, the spring wheat particularly,” said Jonathon Driedger of FarmLink Marketing Solutions in Winnipeg.

Statistics Canada estimated this year’s spring wheat to be 16.664 million acres, up 1.26 million acres over last year.

When it comes to all-wheat acres, the agency pegged this year’s crop at 23.182 million acres, nearly the same amount as last year.

Driedger adds durum was also down, but still within the bell curve of expectations.

Durum acreage was projected to be 5.145 million acres, down 1.045 million from last year.

As expected, lentils dropped sharply in today’s report. StatsCan pegged acreage at 4.385 million acres, down 1.475 million from last year.

Field peas and chickpeas are also expected to decline.

The following table is a recap of Statistics Canada’s acreage report for the period March 16 to March 31, 2017. Pre-report expectations are provided for comparison purposes. Figures are in million acres.

Pre Report      StatsCan   StatsCan

Estimates        2017/18    2016/17

Barley      4.400 –  6.400       5.880      6.390

Canola     20.300 – 22.500      22.387     20.367

Flaxseed    0.900 –  1.100       1.115      0.935

Lentils     3.900 –  6.100       4.385      5.860

Oats        2.800 –  3.700       3.419      2.834

Peas        3.600 –  4.800       3.989      4.239

Ttl wheat* 21.200 – 23.000      23.182     23.212

Durum       4.800 –  5.800       5.145      6.190

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

— Dave Sims writes for Commodity News Service Canada, a Winnipeg company specializing in grain and commodity market reporting. Follow CNS Canada at @CNSCanada on Twitter.


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