Faced with high crop prices, Canadian farmer will plant 9.4% more wheat this spring than last year, as they push expected acreage going into canola and field peas to record levels and slash barley and oats seedings, the federal government reported Monday in Ottawa, Ontario. Total wheat acreage this year is expected to reach 25.109 million acres, up 16% from last year. Spring wheat is expected to be seeded on more than 16.5 million acres. Farmers intend to seed another 5.9 million acres into durum. The balance is in winter wheat. The report summarizes responses to a survey the agency conducted late last month of 16,000 Canadian farmers. The federal agency cautions that farmers' intentions can change.
The report appears at a time when grain prices are strong. In recent weeks, observers have started voicing worries about whether the world will have enough grain. Western Canadian canola acreage is expected to rise approximately 50,000 acres, but still reach into record levels at 14.7 million acres. Prairie farmers intend to cut barley acreage by 1.6 million acres to just 8.7 million acres. Acreage going into oats will fall to 4.1 million acres. The federal government has said it wants to move the marketing of barley out from under the Canadian Wheat Board. Legislation to accomplish this is before Parliament. It is unclear if it will pass in time for this year's seeding.
Eastern Canadian farmers are expected to trim acreage going into corn, while growers in Quebec plan to boost soybean plantings 36% to a record 593,100 acres. Ontario growers will plant 6.2% fewer acres into soybeans. "Growers in Ontario and Quebec reported that they intend to plant less acreage in corn for grain in 2008," Statistics Canada reported. "Quebec farmers reported a potential drop of 11.1% to 998,400 acres; those in Ontario saw a potential decline of 13.1% to 1.8 million acres." The full report, 'March Intentions of Principal Field Crop Areas, Canada, 2008', is available HERE.