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Principal field crop areas, March 2018

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Released: 2018-04-27

Canadian farmers expect to plant fewer acres of soybeans and canola in 2018, crops that were both at record high levels in 2017. Seeding intentions of dry peas and lentils are also expected to decline, potentially due to weaker prices and to exports falling sharply.

Meanwhile, most of the acreage not seeded to major oilseeds and pulses this spring (compared with 2017) has shifted to cereal grains, since farmers anticipate areas of wheat, barley and corn to rise in 2018.


Nationally, farmers reported intending to seed 25.3 million acres of all varieties of wheat in 2018, up 12.8% over 2017. Seeding intentions for spring wheat indicate a 15.4% gain over 2017, to 18.2 million acres, while durum wheat acreage is expected to increase 11.0% to 5.8 million acres.

Provincially, producers in Alberta anticipate their total wheat area to increase by 9.6% from 2017 to 7.7 million acres in 2018. This gain is a result of an expected 14.7% increase in spring wheat acreage to 6.7 million acres. Conversely, less area should be seeded to durum, which is expected to decline to 951,000 acres (-12.8%).

Producers in Saskatchewan expect total wheat to rise for the first time since 2013, up 15.8% from 2017 to 13.1 million acres in 2018. This is due to a 17.2% rise in acres intended for spring wheat, to 8.1 million acres.

Farmers in Manitoba intend to plant 3.0 million acres of all varieties of wheat, up 13.1% from 2017.


Canadian farmers are expecting to seed 21.4 million acres of canola in 2018, down 7.0% from 2017.

The overall expected decrease in seeded area is the result of Saskatchewan farmers anticipating a 10.5% decrease from the record high of 12.7 million acres set in 2017, to 11.4 million acres in 2018, bringing the acreage closer to the five-year average.

Farmers in Alberta also expect lower canola acreage, down 4.0% from the record high set in 2017, to 6.7 million acres.

Meanwhile, Manitoba producers are expecting canola area to remain unchanged from 2017 at 3.2 million acres.


At the national level, farmers intend to seed 6.5 million acres of soybeans in 2018, down 11.4% from the record high in 2017. This is the result of declines expected in most provinces.

Producers in Manitoba are expecting a 14.4% decline to 2.0 million acres in 2018. This would be the first decrease in the province since 2007. Ontario farmers expect to seed 3.0 million acres, down 1.8% from 2017, while Quebec's acreage is expected to decline 12.3% to 863,000 acres.

Barley and oats

Canadian farmers in almost every province expect to seed more barley in 2018 (+5.1%), which would drive up acreage to 6.1 million acres nationally.

However, areas seeded to oats are expected to edge down 1.6% to 3.1 million acres. Saskatchewan farmers expect to plant 1.5 million acres (-6.7%), while Alberta producers anticipate planting 679,000 acres (-1.6%).

Corn for grain

At the national level, corn for grain acreage is anticipated to rise 5.1% from 2017 to 3.8 million acres.

In Ontario, farmers expect to plant 2.2 million acres in 2018 (+2.4%), while Quebec producers anticipate seeding 1.0 million acres (+8.1%).

Manitoba farmers expect to plant 455,000 acres of corn for grain in 2018, up 11.0% from 2017, leading to a possible record high level for the province.

Lentils and peas

Canadian farmers expect total lentil acreage to decline 8.1% from 2017, to 4.1 million acres in 2018. This would be driven by farmers in Saskatchewan, who anticipate an 8.4% decrease to 3.6 million acres.

Similarly, areas seeded to dry field peas are expected to decrease 5.5% from 2017 to 3.9 million acres, driven by Alberta farmers who anticipate a 13.1% drop to 1.6 million acres in 2018.

  Note to readers

The first iteration of the 2018 Field Crop Survey (March), which collects information on crop planting intentions, was conducted from March 2 to March 29, 2018 and included about 11,600 farmers. Farmers were asked to report their planting intentions for grain, oilseeds and special crops.

Changes in methodology were made to the Field Crop Survey beginning with the April 27, 2018 release. For more information on the methodology changes, consult the document The Integrated Business Statistics Program, in the Behind the data feature of our website.

Subsequent surveys during the year will provide estimates of actual seeded acreages. Data on final acreages for 2018 will be released on December 6, 2018, and will be subject to revision for two years.

Field crop surveys collect data from Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta at all survey cycles. However, they collect data twice a year (in the June iteration of the Field Crop Survey on seeded areas and in the November iteration of the Field Crop Survey on final 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 same 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 2018 are compared with final 2017 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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