Some specialty crops may be seeded less this spring compared to others: Ag Canada Outlook

The seeded acreages for flax and mustard are expected to drop dramatically this spring while large acreage increases are expected for oats, chickpeas and lentils. 

Meanwhile, the price of almost every grain, oilseed and specialty crop is expected to drop, and in some cases, the declines are large. The projections are in the latest outlook by the Market Analysis Group of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada.

Ag Canada expects the acreage seeded to durum in Canada to increase by 1.4 per cent. However, the average price of durum between this crop year and next crop year is expected to drop by $75 a tonne. 

That will still leave durum at a better price than CWRS wheat which is expected to slip just $5 a tonne. The wheat acreage, excluding durum, is expected to drop by about 3 per cent. The Canadian barley area is projected to drop 5 per cent to its lowest in six years. The Lethbridge feed barley price is expected to be down $25 a tonne year over year. 

After plummeting in acreage in 2023, Ag Canada sees oat acreage increasing by 27 per cent this year, even though the average price is expected to drop by $40 a tonne. Canola acreage is forecast to drop by 1.5 per cent and it too is forecast to see a year over year price drop of $40 a tonne. Flaxseed prices are forecast to remain relatively unchanged, but flax is forecast to see another acreage decline, this time 19 per cent. 

On peas, an acreage increase of 5 per cent is expected despite the prediction for a $90 a tonne price drop. Lentils acres are predicted to rise 8 per cent and that year over year price decline is huge – $140 a tonne. On chickpeas, a price decline of $160 a tonne is projected, but acreage is expected to be up by 17 per cent. For mustard, a price drop of $200 a tonne is projected and acreage is expected to drop by 13 per cent. 

Despite a projected price drop of $165 a tonne, Canary seed acreage is expected to grow by about 6 per cent. These, of course, are all very early predictions and they are just that – predictions.

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