Canadian producers reported seeding record areas of canola and soybeans in 2017, with the canola area exceeding wheat (all varieties combined) for the first time ever. Seeded acreage of corn for grain and oats also increased. Meanwhile, the areas seeded to all wheat, lentils and barley declined from 2016.
Due to unseasonal early snow last fall, harvesting in some parts of the country was delayed until this spring. Additionally, localized areas reported very wet spring conditions and some flooding occurred in Ontario and Quebec. These conditions may have affected some of the seeded areas reported.
Canadian farmers reported seeding a record high 22.8 million acres of canola in 2017, up 12.1% from the 20.4 million acres reported in 2016.
The overall increase in canola seeded area was the result of record highs in Saskatchewan and Alberta. Farmers in Saskatchewan planted 12.6 million acres of canola in 2017, up 13.6% from 2016. Meanwhile, producers in Alberta sowed 6.9 million acres of canola this year, an increase of 16.5%. Manitoba farmers seeded 3.1 million acres this year, down 1.1% from a year ago.
Canadian farmers reported an overall decrease in the area sown to wheat in 2017, down 3.7% from 2016 to 22.4 million acres. The decrease was the result of a 15.9% drop in area seeded to durum wheat, which fell to 5.2 million acres in 2017. Conversely, the area seeded to spring wheat rose 2.5% to 15.8 million acres.
Provincially, Saskatchewan farmers reported the area seeded to all varieties of wheat decreased for a fourth consecutive year, falling 6.9% from 2016 to 11.3 million acres in 2017. The overall decline was the result of a decrease in durum wheat acres, which fell 18.0% to 4.1 million acres.
Producers in Alberta reported that their total wheat area grew 5.5% from 2016 to 7.1 million acres in 2017. An increase in spring wheat acreage accounted for the overall rise, up 9.8% to 5.9 million acres. Conversely, durum wheat seeded area declined 6.8% to 1.1 million acres.
The total area sown to all varieties of wheat in Manitoba fell 9.0% from 2016 to 2.7 million acres in 2017. This was mainly due to a 5.9% decline from 2016 in spring wheat acres to 2.6 million acres.
Nationally, the total area seeded to soybeans rose to a record high 7.3 million acres in 2017, up 33.2% from 2016. The four largest soybean producing provinces (Ontario, Manitoba, Quebec and Saskatchewan), which account for 99% of the national total, all reached record high levels for seeded soybean acres this year.
In Ontario, farmers seeded 3.1 million acres in 2017, up 13.5% from last year. Manitoba farmers continued their trend of planting more soybean acres, seeding 2.3 million acres in 2017, up 40.1% compared with 2016.
In Quebec, the soybean area increased 22.5% from 2016 to 983,500 acres in 2017, while Saskatchewan farmers seeded 850,000 acres to the crop this year (+254.2%).
Corn for grain
Canadian farmers reported planting 3.6 million acres of corn for grain in 2017, an increase of 7.5% from 2016.
In Ontario, farmers planted 2.1 million acres of corn for grain in 2017, an increase of 4.7% compared with last year. The area seeded to corn for grain in Quebec also rose this year and was reported at 939,000 acres (+5.6%).
Meanwhile, farmers in Manitoba planted 410,000 acres of corn for grain in 2017, up 18.8% from 2016 and a record level seeded for the province.
Barley and oats
Nationally, the total area seeded to barley fell 9.7% from 2016 to 5.8 million acres in 2017. Alberta and Saskatchewan accounted for almost 90% of the national barley seeded area in 2017.
The total acreage seeded to oats rose 13.6% from 2016 to 3.2 million acres in 2017. In Saskatchewan, farmers planted 1.7 million acres (+20.3%), while Alberta’s acreage decreased 4.2% to 690,000 acres.
Total area seeded to lentils decreased 24.8% from last year’s record high, to 4.4 million acres in 2017. This decline was mainly attributable to Saskatchewan’s lentil area (which accounts for close to 90% of the total acreage in Canada), which fell 25.8% from 2016 to 3.9 million acres.