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Principal field crop areas, June 2021

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Released: 2021-06-29

Canadian farmers reported planting more canola, barley, soybeans and lentils, but fewer acres of wheat, dry peas, corn for grain and oats, according to the June 2021 Field Crop Survey.

Dry conditions were a concern for farmers in parts of Western Canada throughout seeding and into the start of the growing season. Precipitation at the start of the growing season was well below average, and although much of the prairies have received some precipitation throughout May, lower than normal soil moisture continues to be a concern. Dry conditions did allow producers to begin planting early, with provincial reports indicating that seeding progressed at a relatively fast pace.

In Eastern Canada, at the time of seeding, soil moisture conditions were considered below normal in much of Ontario and southern Quebec, also due to lack of precipitation.

Map 1  Thumbnail for map 1: Difference from normal soil moisture (in millimetres) (drought model) as of June 14, 2021 (during the collection period), compared with annual average, by province
Difference from normal soil moisture (in millimetres) (drought model) as of June 14, 2021 (during the collection period), compared with annual average, by province

Farmers reported planting less wheat

Canadian farmers reported planting 23.4 million acres of wheat in 2021, down 6.5% from a year earlier. Spring wheat declined 8.1% to 16.5 million acres. Global wheat production is anticipated to increase compared to last year. If realized, higher worldwide production could result in lower wheat prices for Canadian farmers, possibly influencing some to plant less wheat than the previous year.

Durum wheat area decreased 2.8% to 5.5 million acres while winter wheat area fell 1.4% to 1.3 million acres.

In Saskatchewan, wheat area fell 6.6% to 12.0 million acres. Spring wheat area decreased 7.7% to 7.4 million acres. Durum wheat fell 2.7% to 4.5 million acres.

Alberta farmers reported planting 6.9 million acres of wheat, down 6.4% from a year earlier. Spring wheat (-7.4% to 5.8 million acres) and durum wheat (-2.3% to 988,500 acres) both fell.

Farmers in Manitoba reported that total wheat area was down 8.7% to 2.9 million acres.

Canola planting rises across the prairies

Nationally, farmers reported planting 22.5 million acres of canola in 2021, up 8.2% from a year earlier. High global demand for oilseeds likely contributed to farmers' decision to plant more canola. Increased demand has resulted in record high exports as of March 2021, resulting in lower canola stocks. High demand, coupled with decreasing supply, pushed prices to record highs in the first half of 2021, and are anticipated to remain high for the coming year.

Saskatchewan farmers reported planting 12.1 million acres of canola, up 6.9% from a year earlier.

In Alberta, canola area rose 14.5% from 2020 to 6.7 million acres.

Farmers in Manitoba reported that canola area was up 1.0% to 3.4 million acres.

Soybean seeded area rises on high global demand

Nationally, producers reported 4.9% more area seeded to soybeans to 5.3 million acres in 2021. Higher planted acres may have been attributable to farmers responding to high global demand and higher prices.

Farmers in Ontario reported planting 3.0% more acres of soybeans to 2.9 million acres, while farmers in Quebec reported planting 925,300 acres of soybeans, up 4.5%.

Manitoba led the increase in soybean area, up 14.5% from a year earlier to 1.3 million acres in 2021 — the first soybean area increase in the province in four years. Strong prices stemming from high demand for oilseeds and higher yields in 2020 compared with the last three years may have encouraged some farmers to increase soybean acreage.

Barley planting up from a year earlier while oats decline

Farmers planted 8.3 million acres of barley in 2021, up 9.7% from a year earlier. Barley area increased 18.7% in Saskatchewan to 3.7 million acres. Meanwhile, farmers in Alberta also planted 5.6% more barley, while Manitoba farmers planted 0.7% less. High prices potentially contributed to farmers increasing barley area.

Farmers reported planting 10.8% less oats to 3.4 million acres. In Saskatchewan, the largest oat producing province, oat planting area fell 11.1% to 1.6 million acres. Lower oat acreage may be the result of farmers choosing to plant crops fetching higher prices.

Corn for grain seeded falls

Nationally, farmers reported that corn for grain acreage was down 2.5% from a year earlier to 3.5 million acres in 2021.

In Ontario, where more than 60% of Canada's corn is grown, seeded area fell 2.0% to 2.1 million acres.

Farmers in Quebec reported seeded area falling 0.6% to 885,800 acres.

Corn for grain seeded area in Manitoba declined 1.4% to 367,100 acres.

Lentil area up while dry pea area falls

Canadian farmers reported planting 4.3 million acres of lentils in 2021, up 1.7% from a year earlier.

Nationally, farmers reported seeding 10.2% less dry pea area compared with 2020, down to 3.8 million acres. Alberta dry pea area decreased by 222,500 acres while Saskatchewan area fell 222,300 acres.

  Note to readers

The June 2021 Field Crop Survey, which collects information on field crop seeded areas in Canada, was conducted from May 14 to June 11, 2021, with approximately 25,000 farms. They were asked to report their seeded areas of grain, oilseeds and special crops.

June seeded acres are subject to updates from subsequent surveys during the current crop year. Data on final acreages for 2021 will be released on December 3, 2021, 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. Canadian totals for July include carry-over data for seeded area for all 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 June 2021 are compared with final 2020 data.

An easy-to-print chart, Crop Report Survey at a Glance, which provides an overview of our survey cycle, is now available.

Support the 2021 Census of Agriculture

Contact information

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