Small pulse acres surprise in Statistics Canada report

Million acres 2014 (final) 2015 intentions 2014-15% change TradeF’cast
Total wheat 23.84 24.765 3.9 23.5-27
Spring wheat 17.40 18.004 3.4
Durum 4.75 5.500 15.8 5.25-6.25
Winter wheat 1.675 1.261 -24.7
Canola 20.33 19.416 -4.5 19-21.5
Barley 5.88 6.478 10.2 6.4-8.0
Soybeans 5.56 5.375 -3.4
Dry field peas 3.79 3.830 0.9 3.7-4.5
Corn for grain 3.08 3.268 6.2
Oats 2.80 3.645 30.3 2.7-3.4
Lentils 3.11 3.350 7.7 3.2-3.8
Flax 1.56 1.630 4.8
Mustard 0.50 0.320 -36
Canaryseed 0.275 0.310 12.7
Dry Beans 0.305 0.273 -10.5
Chickpeas 0.170 0.140 -17.6
Sunflower 0.075 0.125 66.7
Summerfallow 4.595 2.720 -40.8


Statistics Canada’s seeding intentions report came in mostly as expected in the major crop except farmers said they wanted to seed more oats than what the trade expected.

Pulse crop traders were likely surprised at the pea and lentil figures, which showed only minor increases, peas up 0.9 percent and lentils up 7.7 percent.

Analysts contacted by the Western Producer had expected a six to 15 percent increase in peas.

They expected a 13 to 16 percent increase in lentils.

Canadian farmers intend to plant a bit more wheat and a bit less canola this spring compared to a year ago, according to the first survey estimates from Statistics Canada.

However, adjustments are likely in subsequent reports, while weather over the growing season will become more important in determining actual production.

“There’s nothing in here that’s particularly game changing,” said Jon Driedger, of FarmLink Marketing Solutions, on the acreage estimates.

“Changes in acreage are always important, but yield will make the bigger difference in what the ultimate production will be,” added Mike Jubinville, of ProFarmer Canada.

All-wheat area (spring, winter, and durum) was forecast at 24.8 million acres by StatsCan, which would be well within pre-report trade guesses and up from the 23.8 million seeded the previous year. Of that total, durum area is forecast to rise to 5.5 million acres, from 4.8 million in 2014.

Canola area was forecast at 19.4 million acres, which would be nearly a million acres below the 20.3 million acres seeded the previous year, but in line with trade estimates.

“We’ll either need to see the canola number come up, or this market will be really tight next year,” said Driedger.

“At 19.4 million acres, if we even have a slight hiccup in the crop, our carryout will be very tight,” said Wayne Palmer, of Agri-Trend Marketing. He expected to see adjustments of more canola and less wheat in coming reports.

Any spark of a weather scare would lead to a rally (in canola),” said Palmer.

Beyond wheat and canola, oats were one surprise that fell outside of most pre-report estimates. StatsCan pegged oats area at 3.6 million acres, which would be up from the 2.8 million seeded in 2014. “That’s too much oats,” said Jubinville.

Driedger also pointed to the oats number as being on the large side, and expected actual area would be revised lower in subsequent reports.

Barley, meanwhile, could be seen as bullish, according to Jubinville. While StatsCan is forecasting barley acres to rise to 6.5 million, from 5.9 million in 2014, many pre-report trade estimates had been topping 7.0 million.

Pea area was forecast at 3.8 million acres, which was relatively unchanged from the previous year, while lentils were forecast to be slightly higher on the year at 3.4 million acres. Most analysts were anticipating even larger area to the two pulse crops, which could show up in subsequent reports.

Summerfallow is forecast to be the lowest ever, with only 2.7 million acres slated to be unseeded according to StatsCan. That compares with 4.6 million unseeded acres in 2014, and the five-year average of 7.2 million.


Statistics Canada’s statement:

Canadian farmers intend to plant more wheat, oats and barley in 2015 than they did in 2014, while canola and soybean areas should decrease slightly.

According to industry reports, seeding conditions are seen to be favourable overall, after two years of late seedings in 2013 and 2014.


Nationally, farmers reported that they expect to plant 24.8 million acres in 2015, an increase of 3.9% over 2014. Specifically, seeding intentions for spring wheat indicate a 3.4% gain to 18.0 million acres, while durum wheat acreage is expected to reach 5.5 million acres, up 15.8% from 2014.

In Saskatchewan, intentions show spring wheat acreage decreasing 4.8% from 2014 to 8.1 million acres in 2015. However, durum wheat acreage is expected to rise 15.5% to 4.9 million acres.

Farmers in Alberta reported the area for spring wheat should grow by 6.6% to 6.4 million acres in 2015. Durum wheat area is expected to rise by 18.2% to 650,000 acres. Manitoba farmers anticipate seeding 3.1 million acres of spring wheat, up 20.8% from 2014.


Canadian farmers reported they intend to seed 19.4 million acres of canola in 2015, down 4.5% from 2014.

Saskatchewan, historically accounting for approximately half of the canola acreage in Canada, reported a 4.2% decrease compared with 2014 to 10.2 million acres. Alberta farmers also said they planned to seed fewer acres of canola, reporting a 7.7% decline to 6.0 million acres for 2015. Manitoba farmers, however, look to seed 3.1 million acres in 2015, edging up 1.7% over 2014.


The total area to be planted with soybeans is expected to decrease to 5.4 million acres in 2015, down 3.4% from the 2014 record level of 5.6 million acres.

Producers in Ontario intend to seed 2.9 million acres, a decline of 6.5%. Quebec farmers also expect a decrease in area to be seeded to soybeans, down 9.5% to 778,400 acres. Meanwhile, farmers in Manitoba (up 2.4% to 1.3 million acres) and Saskatchewan (up 24.1% to 335,000 acres) anticipate seeding more soybeans. All four provinces sowed record acreages in 2014.

Barley and oats

At the national level, barley seeded area is expected to rise 10.2% from 2014 to 6.5 million acres, while the area seeded with oats is expected to rise 30.3% to 3.6 million acres in 2015. Together, these two crops are expected to account for close to 1.5 million additional acres compared with 2014.

Corn for grain

Nationally, the corn for grain seeded area is expected to increase 6.2% in 2015 to 3.3 million acres. Ontario farmers anticipate planting 2.1 million acres, up 11.5% from 2014. In Quebec, corn for grain area is expected to rise 8.6% to 952,600 acres.


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