Farmers in Alberta are planning to plant more canola and lentil acres, and less wheat acres this growing season compared to last, Statistics Canada’s principal field crop areas report released on April 27, says. Nationally, Canadian farmers are expecting to plant more canola and barley, with less wheat, oats and lentils planted.
Farmers in Alberta are planning to plant seven per cent less wheat at 6.9 million acres. Spring wheat will drop 7.8 per cent to 5.8 million acres, and durum acres will be down 1.1 per cent to one million acres. Nationally, wheat acreage is expected to fall 6.9 per cent to 23.3 million acres.
“Area dedicated to wheat may decrease as some farmers anticipate planting more oilseeds,” the report notes.
Canola acres are expecting to rise for their first time since 2017, with Statistics Canada estimating a 3.6 per cent increase nationally to 21.5 million acres — marking the largest seeded area since 2018. In Alberta, farmers expect canola acres to increase by 7.8 per cent to 6.3 million acres.
“High global demand for oilseeds has led to an increase in canola prices, which may influence farmers’ decision to increase seeded area,” the report says.
While overall lentil acreage is expected to be relatively stable nationally with a slight decrease of 0.3 per cent to 4.2 million acres, Albertan farmers are planning to plant more than last year. Alberta lentil acres are expected to increase by nine per cent.
Canadian barley acres are estimated to rise by 13.9 per cent to 8.6 million acres, which Statistics Canada says is due to strong prices and low carry-in stocks. Alberta acreage is predicted to rise by 7.8 per cent.
Oat acres are expected to drop by six per cent to 3.6 million acres, as global oat supplies are anticipated to increase which could affect Canadian prices, the report notes.
Actual seeded acres could vary though with it having been dry across most of Western Canada when survey results were collected in March. The ongoing impacts of the global COVID-19 pandemic and world grain markets could also have an effect, the report notes.