Wheat rises to its highest level in more than two decades

Wheat rises to its highest level in more than two decades
Jun 29, 2023

Planted soybeans will also see an increase of 6.8 percent across Canada in 2023.

By Andrew Joseph, Farms.com; Image: Maksym Belchenko/iStock/Getty Images Plus photo

Farmers in Canada and the US typically alter some of their planting intentions from year to year after seeing how a certain crop performed the season before and if the upcoming season has any mitigating factors surrounding it that may cause a global shortage of a product—and by heeding that information, they can plant accordingly to profit from it.

Everyone wants to try to capture lightning in a bottle without also putting all their eggs in one basket.

As such, the June 2023 Field Crop Survey from Statistics Canada (StatsCan) has noted that across Canada as a whole, farmers have reported that they planted more wheat, canola, barley, corn, and soybeans but fewer acres of oats, lentils, and dry peas.

Across Western Canada, favourable weather conditions allowed producers to finish seeding on time.

Thanks to warm and dry conditions, Alberta’s seeding was nearly complete by the end of May—just ahead of the average.

In Saskatchewan and Manitoba, planting was slightly behind the five- and 10-year averages owing to too much moisture in some areas of the provinces.

Over in Eastern Canada, seeding went well. Seeding in Ontario and Quebec had been mostly completed by mid-May, as producers experienced near-normal temperatures and dry conditions—though that was not the case in parts of eastern Ontario and western Quebec.

Seeding also went well in Atlantic Canada, where precipitation was below normal during planting.

Wheat on the Rise
Across Canada, farmers have reported planting 26.9 million acres of wheat in 2023, which is up by 6.7 percent from 2022 data. The increase in the total wheat area may be attributed to favourable prices and stronger global demand.

This year, the higher amount of wheat planting was led by spring wheat (+8.0 percent to 19.5 million acres) and durum wheat area (+0.5 percent to 6.0 million acres).

Eastern Ontario’s winter wheat saw an increase of 20.1 percent to 1.4 million acres.

In Saskatchewan, the wheat area was up by 6.9 percent to 14.2 million acres; the spring wheat area rose 10.0 percent to 9.1 million acres; and durum wheat was up by 2.2 percent to 5.0 million acres over 2022 numbers.

In Alberta, there are 7.9 million acres of wheat, up 4.4 percent from the year previous, led by 6.4 percent (6.8 million acres) more of spring wheat, though durum wheat fell by 8.3 percent to 996,800 acres.

Manitoba farmers said that their wheat area increased by 7.2 percent to 3.3 million acres.

More Canola
Across Canada, farmers planted 22.1 million acres of canola in 2023, which is an increase of 3.2 percent over 2022—all likely owing to the observance of relatively favourable prices.

In Saskatchewan, some 12.4 million acres of canola were planted, up 8.8 percent from 2022. But while Saskatchewan planted more, Alberta went against the grain (pun intended) by only planting 6.4 million acres of canola in 2023, down 2.4 percent from the previous year.

Manitoba also planted loess canola in 2023 at 3.1 million acres—down 4.7 percent.

Oh Soy Good
Soybean area rose by 6.8 percent to 5.6 million acres in 2023, in line with the five-year average.

In Manitoba, farmers planted 1.6 million acres, an increase of 40.6 percent—perhaps because of the record yields seen in 2022.

Quebec farmers seeded a provincial record 1.0 million acres of soybeans in 2023—up 4.8 percent from the previous year.

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

An Ear for Corn
Canadian farmers as a whole seeded more corn in 2023 than in 2022, at 3.8 million acres—an increase of 5.5 percent.

This increase was led by Manitoba’s 46.3 percent increase to 553,900 acres.
In Quebec, there was a minor increase of 0.7 percent to 898,300 acres.

But Ontario was less sure of corn. Despite where roughly 60 percent of the country’s corn is grown, Canadian farmers only planted 2.3 million acres of it—down by 0.7 percent in 2023 relative to 2022 numbers.

Other Grains
Farmers across Canada reported planting 7.3 million acres of barley in 2023, up 3.9 percent over last year.

Alberta led the barley increase with 3.8 million acres—an increase of 7.9 percent. In Saskatchewan,

Saskatchewan’s barley was up 0.8 percent to 2.8 million acres, but Manitoba planted less with a decrease of 2.1 percent.

Oats were down across the country by 35.6 percent and 2.5 million acres—the lowest oat acreage on record. Producers may have opted to seed less area with oats because of the high national supply that resulted from strong production in 2022.

Saskatchewan, the largest oat-producing province, saw planting fall by a whopping 45.3 percent to 1.0 million acres in 2023. Alberta was down 25.9 percent, and Manitoba was down 30.4 percent.

A Slowing Pulse
Lentils and dry peas saw a decline in Canadian planting in 2023.

Farmers only planted 3.7 million acres of lentils in 2023—down 15.1 percent but also the lowest level since 2014.

Dry peas also fell by 9.7 percent across the nation, with only 3.0 million acres planted.

Saskatchewan dropped by 11.7 percent to 1.6 million acres, while the seeded area in Alberta fell by 4.7 percent to just 1.3 million acres.

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