Better Margins Squeeze Out Wheat, Boost Canola Acres in Canada
Throughout a hard spring this year, Canadian farmers planted more canola and less wheat than expected, according to Statistics Canada.
Canola acreage reached 19.8 million acres – up 2% from Statistics Canada’s April acreage estimate, and above the average acreage of 19.5 million acres.
Total wheat acreage for the country totaled 24.1 million acres – falling below both the average acreage of 24.6 million acres and Statistics Canada’s estimate of 24.8 million acres. The drop is due mainly to low spring wheat sowing as tighter margins caused farmers to switch to canola or durum.
Canadian durum planting reached 5.75 million acres this season – the largest acreage in seven years, and exceeding the previous year’s planting by one million acres.
Despite the high acreage for canola and durum, harsh conditions are putting larger crops in doubt. Dry conditions have caused the topsoil moisture in Saskatchewan and Alberta to be the lowest since 1988. The condition of the country’s durum crop in Saskatchewan, the country’s largest producing region, is rapidly deteriorating, and it is estimated that 1.5 million acres of canola had to be reseeded due to extreme frost.