Canadian farmers report planting more wheat, canola, barley, corn for grain and soybeans, but fewer acres of oats, lentils, and dry peas, according to the June 2023 Field Crop Survey by Statistics Canada

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OTTAWA , June 28, 2023 (press release) –

Canadian farmers reported planting more wheat, canola, barley, corn for grain and soybeans, but fewer acres of oats, lentils, and dry peas, according to the June 2023 Field Crop Survey.

Favourable conditions across Western Canada allowed producers to complete seeding in a timely manner. In Alberta, seeding was nearly complete by the end of May, just ahead of the average, owing to warm and dry conditions. Planting in Saskatchewan and Manitoba was slightly behind the 5- and 10-year averages because of excess moisture in some areas.

In Eastern Canada, seeding progressed well due to favourable field conditions. Producers in Ontario and Quebec had completed most seeding by mid-May due to near-normal temperatures and dry conditions, aside from parts of eastern Ontario and western Quebec. Seeding also progressed well in Atlantic Canada, where precipitation was below normal during planting.

Map 1 
Mean temperature difference from normal (in degrees Celsius) from May 16 to June 12, 2023 (during the growing season), compared with annual average

Map 2 
Departure from average precipitation (in millimetres) from April 1 to June 12, 2023, compared with annual average

Wheat area rises to its highest level in more than two decades

Nationally, farmers reported planting 26.9 million acres of wheat in 2023, up 6.7% from 2022. In 2023, greater total wheat area was led by spring wheat area (+8.0% to 19.5 million acres) and durum wheat area (+0.5% to 6.0 million acres). Winter wheat, grown predominantly in Eastern Canada, increased 20.1% to 1.4 million acres. The increase in total wheat area may be attributable to favourable prices and strong global demand.

In Saskatchewan, wheat area increased 6.9% to 14.2 million acres, as spring wheat area rose 10.0% to 9.1 million acres and durum wheat area grew 2.2% to 5.0 million acres.

Alberta producers reported planting 7.9 million acres of wheat, up 4.4% from 2022, led by greater spring wheat area, which increased 6.4% to 6.8 million acres in 2023. Durum wheat area in the province fell 8.3% to 996,800 acres.

Farmers in Manitoba reported that total wheat seeded area increased 7.2% to 3.3 million acres.

Canola area rises

Farmers reported planting 22.1 million acres of canola in 2023, up 3.2% from the previous year. The greater area may be the result of relatively favourable prices.

Farmers in Saskatchewan reported planting 12.4 million acres of canola, up 8.8% from 2022.

In Alberta, farmers reported planting 6.4 million acres of canola in 2023, down 2.4% from the previous year.

Seeded area in Manitoba decreased 4.7% to 3.1 million acres.

Soybean area is up in 2023

Soybean area rose 6.8% to 5.6 million acres in 2023, in line with the five-year average.

In Ontario, where more than half of the country's soybeans are grown, farmers reported planting 2.9 million acres of soybeans, down 5.4% from one year earlier.

Manitoba farmers reported a greater soybean area, increasing 40.6% to 1.6 million acres. Producers in the province may have opted to plant more soybeans because of record yields in 2022.

Farmers in Quebec reported seeding a record 1.0 million acres of soybeans in 2023, up 4.8% from the previous year.

Barley planting increases from 2022, while oats fall

Farmers reported planting 7.3 million acres of barley in 2023, up 3.9% from one year earlier. The increase in barley seeded area was led by Alberta, where it rose 7.9% to 3.8 million acres. Barley area edged up 0.8% to 2.8 million acres in Saskatchewan, while it decreased 2.1% in Manitoba.

Farmers reported planting fewer oats, down 35.6% to 2.5 million acres, the lowest oat acreage on record. Producers may have opted to seed less area with oats because of high national supply that resulted from strong production in 2022.

In Saskatchewan, the largest oat-producing province, planting fell 45.3% to 1.0 million acres in 2023. Producers also reported lower areas in Alberta (-25.9%) and Manitoba (-30.4%).

Corn for grain up from 2022

At the national level, farmers reported seeding more corn for grain in 2023 compared with the previous year, rising 5.5% to 3.8 million acres, led by higher seeded area in Manitoba (+46.3% to 553,900 acres).

In Ontario, where roughly 60% of all corn for grain is grown, farmers reported a 0.7% decrease in seeded area, down to 2.3 million acres.

In Quebec, corn for grain area edged up 0.7% to 898,300 acres compared with 2022.

Lentil and dry pea areas decrease

Canadian farmers reported planting 3.7 million acres of lentils in 2023, down 15.1% from one year earlier and the lowest level since 2014.

Nationally, farmers reported seeding 9.7% less area with dry peas compared with 2022, falling to 3.0 million acres. Dry pea area in Saskatchewan decreased 11.7% to 1.6 million acres, while seeded area in Alberta fell 4.7% to 1.3 million acres.

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