Principal field crop areas, June 2012 (preliminary data)
As of June 7, 2012, Prairie farmers had either planted, or intended to plant, a record area of canola and larger areas of wheat, dry field peas and barley. Farmers in Manitoba and Ontario reported seeding record areas of corn and soybeans.
Overall, the area seeded to field crops in 2012 returned to levels seen prior to the 2011 floods in parts of Manitoba and Saskatchewan. Farmers in these two provinces reported significantly fewer summerfallow acres.
At the time of the survey, farmers reported that seeding had not been completed. Seeding in some regions of Manitoba and Saskatchewan was delayed by rain and lingering wet conditions from 2011. As a result, estimates of seeded areas may change later in the crop year.
Record canola acreage
Producers in the Prairies reported a record area of 21.0 million acres seeded in canola, up by 2.4 million acres or 12.8%. This was the sixth consecutive annual record for canola area.
In Manitoba, canola area was reported at a record high of 3.5 million acres, well above 2.7 million acres in 2011. Saskatchewan farmers reported planting 11.1 million acres of canola, exceeding the 2011 record of 9.8 million acres. In Alberta, the canola area increased to a record high of 6.5 million acres.
Increased area of wheat
Farmers reported 23.8 million acres seeded in wheat, up by 2.3 million acres or 10.9% from 2011. This increase was mainly a result of higher acreage seeded in durum and hard red spring wheat.
For a second consecutive year, Prairie farmers reported an increase in durum. The area of acres seeded in durum increased 17.3% to 4.7 million acres in 2012 from 4.0 million acres in 2011.
The area of hard red spring wheat increased 6.4% to 15.1 million acres. Saskatchewan accounted for most of this increase, with 845,000 additional acres seeded to hard red spring wheat.
Barley area on the rise
Prairie farmers reported seeding 6.9 million acres of barley in 2012, compared with 6.0 million acres in 2011.
Saskatchewan farmers reported planting 2.6 million acres of barley, up by 465,000 acres, or 21.4%, from 2.2 million acres in 2011.
In Alberta, 3.8 million acres of barley were reported, an increase of 300,000 acres or 8.6% from 2011.
Increased dry field pea area
The area planted in dry field peas on the Prairies was reported at 3.5 million acres, up 50.1% from 2.3 million acres in 2011.
The area of dry field peas was up in all three Prairie provinces. The most significant increases were in Saskatchewan, where dry field pea area was up 61.7% to 2.5 million acres, and in Alberta, where it increased 24.2% to 925,000 acres.
Soybean area increases
Farmers in Manitoba reported seeding 52.2% more soybean area in 2012, at 875,000 acres, which exceeded the record of 575,000 acres set in 2011.
In Ontario, soybean area increased by 210,000 acres, or 8.6%, to 2.7 million acres. This area surpassed the record area of 2.4 million acres set in 2010 and equalled in 2011.
Meanwhile, Quebec farmers reported a slight decrease in soybean area of 19,800 acres, or 2.7%, to 721,500 acres.
Record corn for grain area
Ontario farmers reported seeding 2.3 million acres of corn for grain in 2012. This area exceeded the record of 2.2 million acres set in 1981.
Quebec farmers planted 1.0 million acres of corn for grain, up 13.4% from the 2011 area of 882,200 acres.
Manitoba farmers reported a record corn for grain area of 300,000 acres, up 66.7% from 2011. The previous record of 225,000 acres was set in 1981.
Note to readers
The June Farm Survey collects information on crop seeded areas in Canada. In 2012, the survey was conducted with approximately 25,000 farmers from May 28 to June 7. Farmers were asked to report their seeded areas of grain, oilseeds and special crops.
June seeded acres are subject to revisions from subsequent surveys during the year. Final acreage numbers for 2012 will be released on December 5 and are subject to revision for two years.
The publication Field Crop Reporting Series: "Preliminary Estimates of Principal Field Crop Areas," Vol. 91, no. 4 (Catalogue number22-002-X, free), is now available from the Key resource module of our website under Publications.
The July 31 estimates of production of principal field crops will be released on August 22.
For more information, contact Statistics Canada's National Contact Centre (toll-free 1-800-263-1136; 613-951-8116; email@example.com).
To enquire about the concepts, methods or data quality of this release, contact Yves Gilbert (613-951-2577; firstname.lastname@example.org) or Heather Keehn (613-951-0730; email@example.com), Agriculture Division.
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