Hursh: Stats Canada Seeded Acreage Report Met Most Expectations

There weren’t a lot of surprises in yesterday’s seeded acreage report from Statistics Canada. 

The seeded acreages for most crops were not too far from grain trade expectations. One exception may have been barley, down nearly 13 per cent as compared to last year. The drop was greatest in Saskatchewan – down 17.5 per cent. Meanwhile, the national acreage for oats was up by nearly 15 per cent. In Saskatchewan, the largest oat producing province, planting rose by more than 22 per cent. 

It’s interesting how producers in different provinces make different cropping choices. Saskatchewan’s canola acreage is down by 2.5 per cent according to Statistics Canada. Meanwhile, Alberta’s canola acreage is up by marginally and Manitoba’s canola acreage is up by 6.6 per cent as compared to last year. 

I suspect some Manitoba farmers are growing more canola to replace soybeans in their rotation. Manitoba’s soybean acreage decreased 10.6 per cent. Nationally, soybean acreage is up 2.0 per cent because Ontario and Quebec are growing more. Most of the country’s soybeans are grown in Ontario and in that province, acreage is up by 7.1 per cent. Ontario farmers apparently opted for more soybeans while growing less corn. 

Another province-to-province anomaly is with mustard. Saskatchewan’s mustard acreage is down 11.6 per cent with Alberta’s much smaller mustard acreage up by 17.4 per cent. While Saskatchewan grows brown, yellow and oriental mustard, the vast majority of Alberta’s mustard is the yellow type.

Chickpeas, although a relatively minor crop, continue to see more acres with most of those in Saskatchewan. In 2023, the chickpea acreage increase was 35 per cent and this year it has increased by another 44 per cent to a total of 454,000 acres. Some producers are turning to chickpeas to get away from root rot problems in lentils and field peas.

Flaxseed acreage continues to crash. Flax was down nearly 22 per cent last year and is down another 15 per cent this year. Now at only 518,000 acres, flax has become a minor acreage crop. 

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