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Principal field crop areas, March 2016

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Released: 2016-04-21

Canadian farmers intend to plant more barley and corn for grain in 2016 than in 2015, but smaller areas of wheat, canola, soybeans and oats, according to the March Farm Survey.


Nationally, farmers reported that they intend to plant 23.8 million acres of wheat in 2016, down 1.1% from last year. Planting intentions for spring wheat are 16.0 million acres, 1.0 million acres lower than in 2015. Meanwhile, durum wheat is expected to grow 5.2% to 6.1 million acres. Winter wheat remaining for harvest is expected to increase 31.6% to 1.7 million acres in 2016.

Each of the Prairie provinces expected lower seeding areas for wheat compared with 2015, while farmers in the East anticipate seeding more wheat.

In Saskatchewan, total area seeded for wheat is anticipated to decline 3.5% to 12.6 million acres. Seeding intentions for spring wheat are down 9.6% to 7.1 million acres in 2016. However, acreage dedicated to durum wheat is expected to rise 5.5% to 5.3 million acres, its highest level since 2000.

Farmers in Alberta reported that the total area intended for wheat should edge down 0.6% to 6.8 million acres. Spring wheat area is expected to decline 1.8% this year to 5.8 million acres. It is anticipated that durum wheat acreage will increase 3.0% to 845,000 acres.

Manitoba farmers anticipate seeding 2.8 million acres of spring wheat in 2016, down 3.4% from 2015.


Canadian farmers reported that they intend to sow 19.3 million acres of canola in 2016, down 3.7% from last year.

Saskatchewan producers reported that they intend to seed 10.4 million acres, 2.6% lower compared with 2015. Farmers in Alberta also anticipate decreasing their canola planted area by 7.8% in 2016 to 5.6 million acres. Manitoba farmers reported no change in the size of the canola area (3.1 million acres) they intend to seed in 2016.


Farmers intend to plant 5.3 million acres of soybeans in 2016, down 1.9% from 2015.

Ontario remains the province with the largest soybean planted area, as producers are expecting to seed 2.7 million acres, accounting for around half of the national soybean area anticipated in 2016. However, the province's intentions are down 7.8% from last year.

Producers in Manitoba, the province with second largest soybean area, intend to sow 1.5 million acres of soybeans in 2016, an increase of 10.1% compared with 2015. Quebec producers expect to plant 783,300 acres of soybeans, up 0.6% from the previous year.

Saskatchewan producers are anticipating a 9.3% decline in seeded area to 245,000 acres.

Barley and oats

Barley seeded area is expected to rise 3.8% from 2015 to 6.8 million acres, with the Prairies accounting for 95% of planting intentions.

Oat planting intentions for 2016 are 3.0 million acres, down 10.9% from 2015. Alberta is the only province to report an anticipated increase in oat area, with farmers expecting to seed 730,000 acres, 9.0% more than in 2015.

Corn for grain

National corn for grain seeding area is expected to rise 6.2% in 2016 to 3.5 million acres. Ontario farmers anticipate planting 2.2 million acres, up 4.6% from 2015. In Quebec, corn for grain area is expected to increase 4.1% to 939,000 acres.

  Note to readers

The March Farm Survey, which collects information on crop planting intentions, was conducted from March 16 to March 31, 2016, and included about 11,500 farmers. Farmers were asked to report their planting intentions for grain, oilseeds and special crops.

Subsequent surveys during the year will provide estimates of actual seeded acreages. Data on final acreages for 2016 will be released on December 6, 2016, and will be subject to revision for two years.

Farm surveys collect data from Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta at all survey cycles. However, they only collect data twice a year (in the June farm survey on seeded areas and in the November farm survey on final field crop production) for Newfoundland and Labrador, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and British Columbia, which represent between 2% and 4% of national totals. Therefore, Canadian totals for March include carry-over data for these provinces from their preceding November survey and Canadian totals for July include carry-over data for these provinces from their preceding June survey.

Release calendar: The dates for upcoming releases of stocks, areas and production of principal field crops are available online.

In this release, percentage changes are calculated using unrounded data.

Data for March 2016 are compared with final 2015 data.

Contact information

For more information, or to enquire about the concepts, methods or data quality of this release, contact us (toll-free 1-800-263-1136; 514-283-8300; or Media Relations (613-951-4636;

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