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Principal field crop areas, June 2017

Released: 2017-06-29

Canadian producers reported seeding record areas of canola and soybeans in 2017, with the canola area exceeding wheat (all varieties combined) for the first time ever. Seeded acreage of corn for grain and oats also increased. Meanwhile, the areas seeded to all wheat, lentils and barley declined from 2016.

Due to unseasonal early snow last fall, harvesting in some parts of the country was delayed until this spring. Additionally, localized areas reported very wet spring conditions and some flooding occurred in Ontario and Quebec. These conditions may have affected some of the seeded areas reported.

Canola

Canadian farmers reported seeding a record high 22.8 million acres of canola in 2017, up 12.1% from the 20.4 million acres reported in 2016.

The overall increase in canola seeded area was the result of record highs in Saskatchewan and Alberta. Farmers in Saskatchewan planted 12.6 million acres of canola in 2017, up 13.6% from 2016. Meanwhile, producers in Alberta sowed 6.9 million acres of canola this year, an increase of 16.5%. Manitoba farmers seeded 3.1 million acres this year, down 1.1% from a year ago.

Wheat

Canadian farmers reported an overall decrease in the area sown to wheat in 2017, down 3.7% from 2016 to 22.4 million acres. The decrease was the result of a 15.9% drop in area seeded to durum wheat, which fell to 5.2 million acres in 2017. Conversely, the area seeded to spring wheat rose 2.5% to 15.8 million acres.

Provincially, Saskatchewan farmers reported the area seeded to all varieties of wheat decreased for a fourth consecutive year, falling 6.9% from 2016 to 11.3 million acres in 2017. The overall decline was the result of a decrease in durum wheat acres, which fell 18.0% to 4.1 million acres.

Producers in Alberta reported that their total wheat area grew 5.5% from 2016 to 7.1 million acres in 2017. An increase in spring wheat acreage accounted for the overall rise, up 9.8% to 5.9 million acres. Conversely, durum wheat seeded area declined 6.8% to 1.1 million acres.

The total area sown to all varieties of wheat in Manitoba fell 9.0% from 2016 to 2.7 million acres in 2017. This was mainly due to a 5.9% decline from 2016 in spring wheat acres to 2.6 million acres.

Soybeans

Nationally, the total area seeded to soybeans rose to a record high 7.3 million acres in 2017, up 33.2% from 2016. The four largest soybean producing provinces (Ontario, Manitoba, Quebec and Saskatchewan), which account for 99% of the national total, all reached record high levels for seeded soybean acres this year.

In Ontario, farmers seeded 3.1 million acres in 2017, up 13.5% from last year. Manitoba farmers continued their trend of planting more soybean acres, seeding 2.3 million acres in 2017, up 40.1% compared with 2016.

In Quebec, the soybean area increased 22.5% from 2016 to 983,500 acres in 2017, while Saskatchewan farmers seeded 850,000 acres to the crop this year (+254.2%).

Corn for grain

Canadian farmers reported planting 3.6 million acres of corn for grain in 2017, an increase of 7.5% from 2016.

In Ontario, farmers planted 2.1 million acres of corn for grain in 2017, an increase of 4.7% compared with last year. The area seeded to corn for grain in Quebec also rose this year and was reported at 939,000 acres (+5.6%).

Meanwhile, farmers in Manitoba planted 410,000 acres of corn for grain in 2017, up 18.8% from 2016 and a record level seeded for the province.

Barley and oats

Nationally, the total area seeded to barley fell 9.7% from 2016 to 5.8 million acres in 2017. Alberta and Saskatchewan accounted for almost 90% of the national barley seeded area in 2017.

The total acreage seeded to oats rose 13.6% from 2016 to 3.2 million acres in 2017. In Saskatchewan, farmers planted 1.7 million acres (+20.3%), while Alberta's acreage decreased 4.2% to 690,000 acres.

Lentils

Total area seeded to lentils decreased 24.8% from last year's record high, to 4.4 million acres in 2017. This decline was mainly attributable to Saskatchewan's lentil area (which accounts for close to 90% of the total acreage in Canada), which fell 25.8% from 2016 to 3.9 million acres.

Telling Canada's story in numbers; #ByTheNumbers

In celebration of the country's 150th birthday, Statistics Canada is presenting snapshots from our rich statistical history.

Over the past century, wheat has always been the major player in field crops grown in Canada. However, recent decades have witnessed canola (known as rapeseed in early years and one of Canada's greatest crop innovations) gaining popularity to the extent that it has replaced wheat as the largest field crop in terms of area in 2017. Beginning with 3,200 acres in 1943, total area planted to canola has climbed to 22.8 million acres in 2017, almost half a million acres more than the area dedicated to all varieties of wheat (spring, durum and winter wheat). This is the first time that canola acreage has surpassed that of wheat.

Chart 1  Chart 1: Wheat and canola: The race for first place
Wheat and canola: The race for first place


  Note to readers

The June Farm Survey, which collects information on field crop seeded areas in Canada, was conducted between May 26 and June 12, 2017, with approximately 24,500 farms. They were asked to report their seeded areas of grain, oilseeds and special crops.

June seeded acres are subject to updates from subsequent surveys during the current crop year. Data on final acreages for 2017 will be released on December 6, 2017, and may be subject to revision for two years.

Farm surveys collect data from Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta for every cycle of the crop survey program. However, data are collected only twice a year (in the current June Farm survey on seeded areas and in the November Farm survey on final crop production) for Newfoundland and Labrador, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and British Columbia, which represent between 2% and 4% of national totals.

Release calendar: The dates for upcoming releases of stocks, areas and productions of principal field crops are available online.

In this release, percentage changes are calculated using unrounded data.

Data for June 2017 are compared with final 2016 data.

Contact information

For more information, or to enquire about the concepts, methods or data quality of this release, contact us (toll-free 1-800-263-1136; 514-283-8300; STATCAN.infostats-infostats.STATCAN@canada.ca) or Media Relations (613-951-4636; STATCAN.mediahotline-ligneinfomedias.STATCAN@canada.ca).

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