Comparative table of StatCan data and market expectations

(million acres)

Statscan

2016

Average

estimate

Statscan

2015

All wheat

23.8

23.2

24.1

Durum

6.1

5.9

5.8

Canola

19.3

20.4

20.1

Oats

3.0

3.0

3.3

Barley

6.8

6.5

6.5

Lentils

5.1

5.0

4.0

Peas

4.3

4.6

3.7

Corn

3.5

3.1

3.3

Soybeans

5.3

5.5

5.4

Flax

1.1

1.6

1.6

Canadian farmers intend to plant more barley and corn for grain in 2016 than in 2015, but smaller areas of wheat, canola, soybeans and oats, according to the March Farm Survey.

Wheat

Nationally, farmers reported that they intend to plant 23.8 million acres of wheat in 2016, down 1.1% from last year. Planting intentions for spring wheat are 16.0 million acres, 1.0 million acres lower than in 2015. Meanwhile, durum wheat is expected to grow 5.2% to 6.1 million acres. Winter wheat remaining for harvest is expected to increase 31.6% to 1.7 million acres in 2016.

Each of the Prairie provinces expected lower seeding areas for wheat compared with 2015, while farmers in the East anticipate seeding more wheat.

In Saskatchewan, total area seeded for wheat is anticipated to decline 3.5% to 12.6 million acres. Seeding intentions for spring wheat are down 9.6% to 7.1 million acres in 2016. However, acreage dedicated to durum wheat is expected to rise 5.5% to 5.3 million acres, its highest level since 2000.

Farmers in Alberta reported that the total area intended for wheat should edge down 0.6% to 6.8 million acres. Spring wheat area is expected to decline 1.8% this year to 5.8 million acres. It is anticipated that durum wheat acreage will increase 3.0% to 845,000 acres.

Manitoba farmers anticipate seeding 2.8 million acres of spring wheat in 2016, down 3.4% from 2015.

Canola

Canadian farmers reported that they intend to sow 19.3 million acres of canola in 2016, down 3.7% from last year.

Saskatchewan producers reported that they intend to seed 10.4 million acres, 2.6% lower compared with 2015. Farmers in Alberta also anticipate decreasing their canola planted area by 7.8% in 2016 to 5.6 million acres. Manitoba farmers reported no change in the size of the canola area (3.1 million acres) they intend to seed in 2016.

Soybeans

Farmers intend to plant 5.3 million acres of soybeans in 2016, down 1.9% from 2015.

Ontario remains the province with the largest soybean planted area, as producers are expecting to seed 2.7 million acres, accounting for around half of the national soybean area anticipated in 2016. However, the province's intentions are down 7.8% from last year.

Producers in Manitoba, the province with second largest soybean area, intend to sow 1.5 million acres of soybeans in 2016, an increase of 10.1% compared with 2015. Quebec producers expect to plant 783,300 acres of soybeans, up 0.6% from the previous year.

Saskatchewan producers are anticipating a 9.3% decline in seeded area to 245,000 acres.

Barley and oats

Barley seeded area is expected to rise 3.8% from 2015 to 6.8 million acres, with the Prairies accounting for 95% of planting intentions.

Oat planting intentions for 2016 are 3.0 million acres, down 10.9% from 2015. Alberta is the only province to report an anticipated increase in oat area, with farmers expecting to seed 730,000 acres, 9.0% more than in 2015.

Corn for grain

National corn for grain seeding area is expected to rise 6.2% in 2016 to 3.5 million acres. Ontario farmers anticipate planting 2.2 million acres, up 4.6% from 2015. In Quebec, corn for grain area is expected to increase 4.1% to 939,000 acres.

March intentions of principal field crop areas

2014

2015

2016 p

2014 to 2015

2015 to 2016

thousands of acres

% change

Total wheat (including winter wheat remaining)

23,865

24,111

23,846

1.0

-1.1

Durum wheat

4,750

5,820

6,120

22.5

5.2

Spring wheat

17,414

17,013

16,044

-2.3

-5.7

Winter wheat

1,700

1,278

1,682

-24.8

31.6

Barley

5,880

6,527

6,777

11.0

3.8

Canary seed

275

325

300

18.2

-7.7

Canola

20,775

20,095

19,345

-3.3

-3.7

Chick peas

170

115

100

-32.4

-13.0

Corn for grain

3,078

3,275

3,477

6.4

6.2

Dry beans

305

260

230

-14.8

-11.5

Dry field peas

3,985

3,680

4,280

-7.7

16.3

Fall rye

221

259

337

16.9

30.4

Flaxseed

1,585

1,640

1,115

3.5

-32.0

Lentils

3,120

3,950

5,140

26.6

30.1

Mustard seed

500

345

430

-31.0

24.6

Oats

2,823

3,337

2,972

18.2

-10.9

Soybeans

5,562

5,411

5,306

-2.7

-1.9

Summerfallow

4,595

2,560

2,160

-44.3

-15.6

Sunflower seed

75

100

80

33.3

-20.0

p preliminary