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Principal field crop areas, March 31, 2013

Released: 2013-04-24

Planting intentions for 2013 show increases in spring wheat and durum wheat compared with 2012 as well as a possible decrease in canola acreage. Indications are that both corn for grain and soybean areas could reach new records nationally.

Farmers may modify their plans prior to planting time as a result of environmental conditions. Some farmers reported that they were still undecided about their final strategies for 2013 as snow lingered in fields in most parts of Canada at the time of the survey.

Canola

First indications are that Canadian farmers may seed 19.1 million acres of canola, down 11.1% from 2012. This would be the first decrease in canola area at the national level since 2006.

This decrease is mainly driven by Saskatchewan, where farmers anticipate a 10.9% decrease in canola area to 10.0 million acres. Decreases in canola acreage are also expected in all other provinces. Alberta canola area may decline 8.6% to 5.9 million acres and Manitoba canola acreage may decrease 15.8% to 3.0 million acres.

Wheat

Nationally, spring wheat area could rise 14.4% or 2.4 million acres to 19.4 million acres in 2013. Similarly, durum wheat acreage is expected to increase for a third consecutive year to 5.1 million acres in 2013, up from 4.7 million acres in 2012.

In Saskatchewan, intentions show spring wheat acreage rising to 9.9 million acres, up 17.0% or 1.4 million acres. Durum wheat acreage in Saskatchewan is expected to rise 7.8% to 4.4 million acres in 2013.

In Alberta, land seeded to spring wheat could reach 6.4 million acres, up 10.5% from the area seeded in 2012. In Manitoba, farmers anticipate seeding 2.8 million acres of spring wheat, up 14.9% from 2012.

Barley and oats

At a national level, barley area is expected to decrease 2.2% to 7.2 million acres.

Canadian farmers also plan to seed 3.4 million acres of oats in 2013, up 18.4% from 2012.

Corn for grain

In Ontario, farmers expect to seed 2.3 million acres of corn for grain, up 2.0% from 2012. This would be above the previous record of 2.2 million acres set in 2012.

In Quebec, farmers anticipate the area seeded in corn for grain to rise 15.8% to reach 1.1 million acres in 2013.

Soybeans

Canadian farmers are expecting to seed a record soybean area of 4.3 million acres in 2013, up 3.4% from 2012.

This increase is mainly driven by Manitoba, where farmers anticipate seeding a record 1.1 million acres of soybeans in 2013.

Conversely, slight decreases are expected in Ontario and Quebec. Ontario farmers anticipate seeding 2.5 million acres of soybeans in 2013, down 4.8% from the record 2012 area. Meanwhile, Quebec farmers plan to seed 667,200 acres acres of soybeans, down 3.6%.

  Note to readers

The March Farm Survey, which collects information on crop planting intentions, was conducted between March 25 and April 3, 2013, with about 13,805 farmers. They were asked to report their intended plantings of grain, oilseeds and special crops.

Subsequent surveys during the year will provide estimates of actual seeded acreages. Data on final acreages for 2013 will be released on December 4, 2013 and will be subject to revision for two years.

The stocks of principal field crops at March 31 will be released on May 3.

Contact information

For more information, contact us (toll-free 1-800-263-1136; infostats@statcan.gc.ca).

To enquire about the concepts, methods or data quality of this release, contact Yves Gilbert (613-951-2577; yves.gilbert@statcan.gc.ca) or Heather Keehn (613-951-0730; heather.keehn@statcan.gc.ca), Agriculture Division.

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