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Canadian Farmers Shift Seeding Focus in 2024

Canadian Farmers Shift Seeding Focus in 2024

Canadian Crop Report 2024 - Insights and Trends

By Jean-Paul McDonald

Canadian farmers adjusted their planting strategies in 2024, according to the Statistics Canada June Field Crop Survey. While areas devoted to wheat, canola, corn, and barley decreased slightly, plantings of soybeans, lentils, dry peas, and oats saw increases.

Early season weather played a role in planting schedules. Drier than average winter conditions in Western Canada raised concerns about soil moisture, but timely spring rains improved conditions.

Seeding progressed slower than the five-year average, but most areas were planted by early June. Eastern Canada experienced mixed temperatures, with warm conditions and above-average precipitation in Ontario causing some seeding delays.

Wheat: National wheat acreage dipped 1.1% to 26.6 million acres. This decrease was driven by lower spring wheat (-2.8%) and winter wheat (-5.8%) plantings, offset somewhat by a 5.5% increase in durum wheat area. Favorable pricing likely contributed to continued high wheat acreage overall.

Canola: Canola plantings fell marginally (0.3%) to 22.0 million acres. Saskatchewan, the country's leading canola producer, saw a 2.5% decline, while Manitoba reported a 6.6% increase.

Soybeans: Soybean area rose 2.0% to 5.7 million acres, exceeding the five-year average and marking the highest level since 2018. This increase is likely due to attractive soybean prices compared to other crops like corn. Notably, Ontario, the top soybean-growing province, saw a 7.1% increase in seeded area.

Barley and Oats: Barley plantings decreased significantly (12.8%) to 6.4 million acres. This decline was most pronounced in Saskatchewan (-17.5%) and Alberta (-8.6%). Conversely, oat area jumped 14.9% to 2.9 million acres, likely driven by low oat stocks from the previous year's production and good oat returns.

Corn for Grain: National corn for grain plantings decreased 4.8% to 3.6 million acres. Ontario and Quebec, major corn producers, reported declines of 4.6% and 2.1% respectively.

Lentil and Dry Peas: Lentil plantings surged 14.8% to 4.2 million acres, exceeding the five-year average. Saskatchewan and Alberta, the top lentil producers, both reported significant increases in seeded area. Dry pea area also rose 5.4% nationally to 3.2 million acres, with Saskatchewan experiencing an 8.7% increase.

These planting trends suggest Canadian farmers are responding to market conditions and adapting their crop choices to maximize profitability. The rise of soybeans, lentils, and dry peas indicates these crops are increasingly attractive options for Canadian agriculture.

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