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Canadian Canola Area Up from Intentions

Weather still holds the hammer but Canadian farmers have gone a bit further to ramp up canola production this year.

A Statistics Canada acreage report released Tuesday pegged 2021 nationwide canola planted area at 22.47 million acres, up from original April intentions of 21.52 million and slightly above the average pre-report trade guess of 22.35 million. If accurate, canola seeded area would be 8.2% above a year earlier and the third highest on record, trailing only the 22.81 million acres seeded in 2018 and the 23.01 million seeded in 2017.

“High global demand for oilseeds likely contributed to farmers' decision to plant more canola,” StatsCan said in its accompanying commentary, adding that canola prices – which hit new record highs in the first half of this year – are expected to remain strong for the 2021-22 marketing year as well.

However, plenty of uncertainty still remains over production. While the additional planted acres do provide an added cushion against any potential shortfall, it is yields that will be the larger factor in final output. Large portions of the Canadian Prairies remain unfavourably dry and intense heat this week is stressing crops further.

“Precipitation at the start of the growing season was well below average, and although much of the prairies have received some precipitation throughout May, lower than normal soil moisture continues to be a concern,” StatsCan said.

In the largest production province of Saskatchewan, canola planted area is now estimated at 12.11 million acres, up from April intentions of 11.83 million and 11.33 million in 2020. It is the largest Saskatchewan canola planted area since 12.35 million acres in 2018.

In Alberta, producers reported seeding 6.72 million acres of canola, versus April intentions of 6.33 million and 5.87 million a year earlier.

Manitoba canola area is estimated at 3.44 million acres, up from intentions of 3.21 million and up slightly from 3.41 million last year.

The June acreage survey was conducted from May 14 to June 11, 2021, meaning most of the 2021 crop was likely already in the ground by the time it finished.

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