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Canadian farming insights from FCC

Canadian farming insights from FCC

Seeding Trends & Market Outlook

By Denise Faguy

Seeding operations are well underway across Canada and the United States, signaling the start of another agricultural season. Despite the prevailing softness in global corn and soybean prices, attributed to an increase in global ending stocks, producers' seeding intentions are expected to remain largely unchanged.

The FCC Economics team says there will be potential yield impacts from reduced winter moisture conditions in Western Canada. The landscape might see some shifts due to strong price signals from international demand, particularly from India for pulses, which could influence acreage allocation and present marketing opportunities for various crops.

Below are some key insights from FCC on the upcoming planting season.

Minimal Changes in Acreage Expected: Canadian producers are anticipated to stick to their typical crop rotations, with minimal deviations from last year's acreage. Most farmers will continue with corn-soybean rotations in the east and canola-wheat rotations in the west.

Differing Projections: While Statistics Canada and FCC (Farm Credit Canada) projections slightly differ, both suggest minimal changes in acreage. It's worth noting that Statistics Canada's survey, conducted in December and January, may not fully capture subsequent changes in market conditions, such as declining crop prices and higher fertilizer costs.

Canola Acreage Expected to Increase: Despite Statistics Canada projecting a decline, FCC anticipates a 1.3 percent increase in canola acreage. Historically, producers tend to understate their intentions for canola, and factors like improved basis levels and additional crush capacity may bolster its attractiveness.

Stable Wheat and Coarse Grains Acreage: Acreage for wheat and coarse grains is expected to remain unchanged or slightly lower, influenced by declining commodity prices. However, oats and wheat might see some shifts due to lower input costs associated with oats and wheat's resilience during droughts.

Pulse Acreage Shifts: Strong pulse prices are likely to attract acreage shifts, with lentil acreage expected to increase by 3.3 percent and dry peas by 0.3 percent. Pea acreage could potentially expand further due to its resilience in drought conditions and lower associated fertilizer costs.

Impact of Drought on Western Canada: Western Canada is facing dry conditions, with significant portions under drought. While moisture deficits may lead to additional seeded acres, in-season rainfall will be crucial for yield outcomes. Crops like canola, durum, and lentils are more susceptible to drought impacts compared to wheat, barley, and peas.

US Planting Trends: The US planting report suggests reductions in corn and soybean acres, influenced by factors like drought. However, actual acres might differ based on spring weather conditions.

Market Impact: As always, weather will remain a key factor influencing commodity prices. Corn and soybeans play a significant role in setting world prices for other grains like wheat and canola.

Chart courtesy FCC; Sources: Statistics Canada, FCC calculations

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