Canadian farmers intend to plant more wheat, oats and barley in 2015 than they did in 2014, while canola and soybean areas should decrease slightly.

According to industry reports, seeding conditions are seen to be favourable overall, after two years of late seedings in 2013 and 2014.

Wheat

Nationally, farmers reported that they expect to plant 24.8 million acres in 2015, an increase of 3.9% over 2014. Specifically, seeding intentions for spring wheat indicate a 3.4% gain to 18.0 million acres, while durum wheat acreage is expected to reach 5.5 million acres, up 15.8% from 2014.

In Saskatchewan, intentions show spring wheat acreage decreasing 4.8% from 2014 to 8.1 million acres in 2015. However, durum wheat acreage is expected to rise 15.5% to 4.9 million acres.

Farmers in Alberta reported the area for spring wheat should grow by 6.6% to 6.4 million acres in 2015. Durum wheat area is expected to rise by 18.2% to 650,000 acres. Manitoba farmers anticipate seeding 3.1 million acres of spring wheat, up 20.8% from 2014.

Canola

Canadian farmers reported they intend to seed 19.4 million acres of canola in 2015, down 4.5% from 2014.

Saskatchewan, historically accounting for approximately half of the canola acreage in Canada, reported a 4.2% decrease compared with 2014 to 10.2 million acres. Alberta farmers also said they planned to seed fewer acres of canola, reporting a 7.7% decline to 6.0 million acres for 2015. Manitoba farmers, however, look to seed 3.1 million acres in 2015, edging up 1.7% over 2014.

Soybeans

The total area to be planted with soybeans is expected to decrease to 5.4 million acres in 2015, down 3.4% from the 2014 record level of 5.6 million acres.

Producers in Ontario intend to seed 2.9 million acres, a decline of 6.5%. Quebec farmers also expect a decrease in area to be seeded to soybeans, down 9.5% to 778,400 acres. Meanwhile, farmers in Manitoba (up 2.4% to 1.3 million acres) and Saskatchewan (up 24.1% to 335,000 acres) anticipate seeding more soybeans. All four provinces sowed record acreages in 2014.

Barley and oats

At the national level, barley seeded area is expected to rise 10.2% from 2014 to 6.5 million acres, while the area seeded with oats is expected to rise 30.3% to 3.6 million acres in 2015. Together, these two crops are expected to account for close to 1.5 million additional acres compared with 2014.

Corn for grain

Nationally, the corn for grain seeded area is expected to increase 6.2% in 2015 to 3.3 million acres. Ontario farmers anticipate planting 2.1 million acres, up 11.5% from 2014. In Quebec, corn for grain area is expected to rise 8.6% to 952,600 acres.

Note: The March farm survey, which collects information on crop planting intentions, was conducted from March 18 to March 31, 2015, with about 11,500 farmers. Farmers were asked to report their planting intentions for grain, oilseeds and special crops.

Subsequent surveys during the year will provide estimates of actual seeded acreages. Data on final acreages for 2015 will be released on December 4, 2015, and will be subject to revision for two years

March intentions of principal field crop areas

2013

2014

March 20151p

2013 to 2014

2014 to March 2015

thousands of acres

% change

Total wheat (including winter wheat remaining)2

26,015

23,835

24,765

-8.4

3.9

Durum wheat

4,965

4,750

5,500

-4.3

15.8

Spring wheat

19,043

17,409

18,004

-8.6

3.4

Winter wheat3

2,008

1,675

1,261

-16.6

-24.7

Barley

7,083

5,880

6,478

-17.0

10.2

Canary seed

210

275

310

31.0

12.7

Canola

19,941

20,325

19,416

1.9

-4.5

Chick peas

180

170

140

-5.6

-17.6

Corn for grain

3,689

3,078

3,268

-16.6

6.2

Dry beans

210

305

273

45.2

-10.5

Dry field peas

3,325

3,795

3,830

14.1

0.9

Fall rye3

225

206

240

-8.4

16.3

Flaxseed

1,050

1,555

1,630

48.1

4.8

Lentils

2,620

3,110

3,350

18.7

7.7

Mustard seed

365

500

320

37.0

-36.0

Oats

3,173

2,798

3,645

-11.8

30.3

Soybeans

4,619

5,562

5,375

20.4

-3.4

Sunflower seed

70

75

125

7.1

66.7

p preliminary

1. The methodology used for area estimates for the Atlantic provinces and British Columbia was modified in 2014. For more information, see note to readers.

2. Represents the sum of winter wheat, spring wheat and durum wheat.

3. The area remaining after winterkill