Comparative table of StatCan data and market expectations

(million acres)Statscan
2017
Average estimateStatscan
2016
All wheat23.1822.423.21
Durum5.1556.19
Canola22.3921.320.37
Soybeans6.965.95.47
Barley5.8866.39
Lentils4.395.15.86
Peas3.994.34.24
Corn for grain3.753.23.33
Oats3.423.22.83
Flax1.121.130.94

Canadian farmers expect to plant more canola, soybeans and oats in 2017, but fewer acres of durum wheat and lentils, crops that were both at high levels in 2016.

Wheat

Nationally, farmers reported intending to seed 23.2 million acres of all varieties of wheat in 2017, relatively unchanged from the area seeded in 2016. Western producers, accounting for 95% of this acreage, are expecting only a slight increase of 0.4% overall, to 22.0 million acres.

Alberta anticipates wheat acreage to be up 10.0% to 7.4 million acres, a possible record high, but less area is expected to be dedicated to durum, down 8.5% to 1.1 million acres.

Saskatchewan farmers expect wheat area to decrease 2.7% to 11.8 million acres. This is due to an 18.8% drop in acres intended for durum wheat, to an anticipated area of 4.1 million acres.

Farmers in Manitoba intend to plant 2.7 million acres of wheat, down 9.0% from 2016.

Canola

Canadian farmers are expecting to seed more canola in 2017, up to a potential record-high 22.4 million acres (+9.9%).

In Saskatchewan, the largest canola-producing province, farmers anticipate seeding 12.3 million acres (+10.6%) in 2017, compared with 11.1 million acres in 2016. Farmers in Alberta also expect an increase in canola acreage, up to 6.8 million acres, a rise of 14.6% over 2016. These could represent record-high areas for both Saskatchewan and Alberta. Manitoba producers, though, expect a slight decrease, as farmers anticipate seeding 3.1 million acres of canola, down 1.7% from 2016.

Soybeans

At the national level, farmers intend to seed a record 7.0 million acres of soybeans, up 27.2% from 2016.

Manitoba is showing the largest expected increase in area, up 34.6% to 2.2 million acres, another potential record high for this province. Ontario farmers anticipate seeding 3.0 million acres, a rise of 11.4% over 2016, while Quebec's acreage is expected to grow to a possible record high of 926,600 acres, up 15.4% over 2016.

Barley and oats

Canadian farmers across almost all provinces report that they intend to seed less barley in 2017 (-8.0%), driving down acreage to 5.9 million acres nationally.

On the other hand, areas seeded to oats are expected to rise in most provinces (+20.6% over 2016), to 3.4 million acres. The only exception where a potential drop is foreseen is Alberta, where farmers plan to seed 690,000 acres to the crop, a 4.2% decrease compared with 2016.

Corn for grain

At the national level, corn for grain acreage is anticipated to rise to 3.8 million acres, an increase of 12.8% over 2016. Provincially, farmers in Ontario expect a 9.6% increase to 2.2 million acres. Quebec farmers reported a similar increase (+9.7%) to 976,100 acres, while producers in Manitoba anticipate seeding 475,000 acres of corn for grain in 2017 (+37.7%).

March intentions of principal field crop areas

2015

2016

2017p

2015 to 2016

2016 to 2017

thousands of acres

% change

Total wheat (including winter wheat remaining)

24,111

23,212

23,182

-3.7

-0.1

Durum wheat

5,820

6,190

5,145

6.4

-16.9

Spring wheat

17,013

15,404

16,664

-9.5

8.2

Winter wheat

1,278

1,618

1,373

26.6

-15.2

Barley

6,527

6,390

5,880

-2.1

-8.0

Canary seed

325

260

270

-20.0

3.8

Canola

20,665

20,367

22,387

-1.4

9.9

Chick peas

115

160

140

39.1

-12.5

Corn for grain

3,275

3,325

3,751

1.5

12.8

Dry beans

260

277

260

6.5

-6.1

Dry field peas

3,680

4,239

3,989

15.2

-5.9

Fall rye

259

329

252

27.1

-23.3

Flaxseed

1,640

935

1,115

-43.0

19.3

Lentils

4,035

5,860

4,385

45.2

-25.2

Mustard seed

345

525

390

52.2

-25.7

Oats

3,337

2,834

3,419

-15.1

20.6

Soybeans

5,441

5,467

6,956

0.5

27.2

Summerfallow

2,560

1,990

1,765

-22.3

-11.3

Sunflower seed

100

70

50

-30.0

-28.6

p - preliminary