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The Daily

Tuesday, June 26, 2007
June 2007 (preliminary)

Prairie farmers reported that they planted a record area of canola and field peas. In Quebec, a record area of corn for grain was planted.

Data from the June farm survey, Statistics Canada's largest area survey, comprising data from 29,000 Canadian farmers, revealed that Prairie farmers planted several record areas of field crops and an increased area of feed grains. Farmers in Ontario and Quebec, meanwhile, planted more corn for grain.

By the end of the survey period (May 25 to June 5), farmers reported that planting was nearly complete for 2007. Manitoba farmers reported slightly over 90% of fields seeded, while in Saskatchewan and Alberta the planted area was approximately 85% complete.

Soil moisture conditions across the Prairie provinces were rated as adequate to good. Excess moisture can be found in northern and eastern Manitoba, eastern and north-eastern Saskatchewan, and the north-west, west-central and Peace River regions of Alberta. In unplanted areas, farmers may make some last minute changes by switching to shorter season varieties or crops, with cool wet weather dragging out the end of the planting season. In some regions, there will be fields that remain unplanted.

In Eastern Canada, the area planted in grain corn rose significantly, while soybean area rose slightly.

Oilseed trends diverge

With the expectation of strong demand and higher prices than seen for some time, Prairie farmers reported they have planted a record 14.5 million acres of canola, up 17.2% from 2006. The previous record was 14.2 million acres, set in 1994. Inclement weather conditions late in the planting season may force farmers to switch to late season varieties of canola.

Increases in seeded area were reported in all three Prairie provinces, and all areas are greater than the five-year averages. Saskatchewan's planted area grew the most, with an increase of 1.2 million acres of canola to a total 7.2 million acres.

In the Prairie provinces, the acreage seeded to flaxseed fell 34.4% to 1.3 million acres. The five-year average for flaxseed acreage is 1.9 million acres. The trade is still working through the heavy supplies of the past two crop years.

Note to readers

As a result of the release of data from the 2006 Census of Agriculture on May 16, 2007, estimates of field crop area and production contained in the Field Crop Reporting Series have been revised, where necessary, to align with those from the Census.

Please note that a table containing national production revisions for 2006 is included in this release. The 2006 provincial production revisions are also now available in CANSIM.

Both national and farm supply-disposition tables containing the revised 2006 production estimates are also available in CANSIM.

Producers in all three Prairie provinces reported decreases in area to levels below their five-year averages. In Saskatchewan, where the majority of Canadian flaxseed is grown, planted area is reported to have declined 469,900 acres to 1.1 million acres.

Spring wheat area falls while durum wheat area increases

Prairie farmers reported planting a lot less spring wheat. Total plantings were down 19.0% to 14.8 million acres, the lowest area reported since 1970. The five-year average is 18.2 million acres. Searching for better returns and with increasing fertilizer prices, Prairie farmers substituted other crops for spring wheat. Poor planting conditions also prompted farmers to switch from wheat to shorter season crops, such as barley and oats.

Saskatchewan farmers planted 2.1 million less acres of spring wheat to a total of 7.5 million acres. Reported spring wheat areas in all Prairie provinces were less than their five-year averages.

In contrast to the spring wheat decline, the area seeded to durum rose by a million acres to 4.8 million acres. The area planted to durum has fluctuated considerably over the past decade.

Durum acreage rose in Saskatchewan and Alberta, where almost all Canadian durum is grown, but remained below the five-year average in each province.

Barley and oats are up, field pea area hits a record

Prairie farmers seeded 10.3 million acres of barley, an increase of 1.8 million acres from the 8.5 million acres seeded in 2006. In spite of the increase, the area remained below the five-year average of 10.5 million acres. Farmers may have been encouraged to plant more barley because of seeding delays, particularly in Alberta, and because of rising prices related mainly to strong international corn prices.

All three Prairie provinces have more barley planted this year. The area seeded to barley reached the five-year average in Manitoba and Alberta, but in Saskatchewan the area was below that average.

Prairie farmers planted more oats this year, an increase of 8.1% to 4.9 million acres.

Farmers in Manitoba and Saskatchewan planted more oats, while Alberta farmers seeded 219,200 fewer acres to an area of 1.1 million acres.

Total field pea area in the Prairie provinces increased 16.8% to a record 3.6 million acres. Field pea area has steadily increased over the past decade. Pea supplies have been tightening after two years of ample supplies. Special crop companies responded by offering near-record prices for peas planted this spring.

Field pea area was up in all three Prairie provinces and reached a record in Saskatchewan, where farmers planted 2.9 million acres of field peas, up from 2.4 million acres in 2006.

Ontario and Quebec farmers plant a lot more grain corn

Quebec farmers reported a record 1.1 million acres of grain corn planted, up 17.1% from 2006 and 7,400 acres more than the previous record set in 2002. Ontario farmers planted 2.1 million acres of grain corn, an increase of 34.4% over 2006 and an area 50,000 acres shy of the 1981 record.

Ontario farmers planted 995,000 acres of genetically modified corn, which represented 47% of the provincial planted area of corn for grain. Quebec farmers planted 580,700 acres of genetically modified corn, 52% of the province's total.

Ontario farmers planted more soybeans, an increase of 3.9% to an area of 2.2 million acres, just 85,000 acres short of the record set in 2004 and 2005. Quebec farmers planted 434,900 acres of soybeans, down 9.5%.

Genetically modified soybean area was 1.1 million acres, or 49% of total soybean plantings in Ontario. Quebec farmers planted 207,600 acres, or 48% of their acreage, into genetically modified soybeans.

Available on CANSIM: tables 001-0004, 001-0010, 001-0017 to 001-0020, 001-0040 to 001-0042.

Definitions, data sources and methods: survey number 3401.

The publication Field Crop Reporting Series: "Preliminary Estimates of Principal Field Crop Areas, Canada", 2007, Vol. 86, no. 4 (22-002-XIE, free) is now available from the Publications module of our website.

For further information, or to enquire about the concepts, methods or data quality of this release, contact David Burroughs (613-951-5138; or Dave Roeske (613-951-0572;, Agriculture Division.

Tables. Table(s).