Principal field crop areas, March 2022
Canadian farmers expect to plant more wheat, corn for grain, lentils, soybeans and oats in 2022, while area seeded to canola, barley and dry peas is anticipated to decrease compared with the previous year.
The previous crop year was one of the driest on record in Western Canada. While soil moisture conditions are estimated to have returned to normal in some parts of Western Canada, other areas such as southern Alberta and southwestern Saskatchewan remain drier than normal, potentially influencing seeding intentions. By comparison, soil moisture in Eastern Canada is estimated to be normal.
In addition, domestic and international grain markets are currently facing uncertainty as a result of the ongoing impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and geopolitical conflict, which may affect farmers' planting decisions. Rising input costs for Canadian farmers, including fertilizer and fuel, may also contribute to seeding decisions.
At the national level, farmers anticipate planting 25.0 million acres of wheat in 2022, up 7.2% from the previous year. Spring wheat area (+7.0% to 17.6 million acres) and durum wheat area (+12.5% to 6.2 million acres) are expected to expand, while winter wheat area is expected to decrease (-13.0% to 1.2 million acres). An anticipated increase in area for wheat is likely attributable to strong prices and high worldwide demand.
Farmers in Saskatchewan anticipate planting 10.6% more wheat in 2022 compared with 2021, up to 13.3 million acres. Spring wheat area is expected to expand 7.5% to 8.0 million acres, while durum wheat area is anticipated to increase 15.4% to 5.2 million acres.
In Alberta, farmers expect total wheat area to increase 6.3% to 7.4 million acres as a result of higher spring wheat area (+7.9%), while durum wheat area is expected to decrease 3.1% to 957,500 acres.
Manitoba farmers anticipate planting 3.1 million acres of wheat, up 5.7% from one year earlier.
Despite high prices and strong global demand for oilseeds, canola area is expected to decrease 7.0% to 20.9 million acres in 2022 as farmers shift to alternate crops such as cereals.
In Saskatchewan, the largest canola-producing province, producers anticipate seeding nearly 1.0 million fewer acres of canola, a drop of 8.0% to 11.1 million acres in 2022 compared with 2021.
Farmers in Alberta anticipate seeding 6.3 million acres of canola, down 6.9% from a year earlier.
In Manitoba, farmers expect seeded area of canola to decrease 3.9% to 3.3 million acres.
Nationally, farmers anticipate planting 5.4 million acres of soybeans, up 0.7% from 2021.
Farmers in Ontario, the largest soybean-producing province, expect to plant 3.0 million acres of soybeans, up 3.2% from 2021.
Soybean areas in Manitoba (-0.9%) and Quebec (-0.6%) are expected to edge down compared with a year earlier.
Barley and oats
Nationwide, barley acreage is expected to drop 9.7% to 7.5 million acres in 2022.
Saskatchewan is expected to lead the decrease, falling 17.6% to 3.1 million acres. Area seeded to barley is also expected to drop in both Alberta (-3.9% to 3.7 million acres) and Manitoba (-1.1% to 408,000 acres).
Oat area is expected to expand 16.6% to 4.0 million acres compared with one year earlier. If realized, it would be the highest area seeded to oats since 2008, possibly attributable to higher domestic demand for feed use and exports.
Corn for grain
At the national level, farmers expect to plant 3.7 million acres of corn for grain, up 6.4% from a year earlier.
In Ontario, where over 60% of all corn for grain in Canada is grown, farmers anticipate planting 2.3 million acres, up 8.2% from 2021. If achieved, it would be a record area for the province, surpassing the previous record of 2.2 million acres set in 2012. Farmers may choose to plant more corn for grain in 2022 as a result of record yields in 2021, coupled with good prices relative to other crops.
Quebec farmers expect to plant more corn for grain, edging up 0.9% to 893,400 acres in 2022.
Lentil and dry peas
Area seeded to lentils is expected to increase compared with one year earlier, up 4.2% to 4.5 million acres. Farmers in Saskatchewan, where almost 90% of Canada's lentils are grown, expect seeded area to rise 5.8% to 4.0 million acres, offsetting lower area in Alberta (-8.8%).
Farmers across Canada expect to plant fewer acres of dry peas in 2022, with area anticipated to fall 7.0% to 3.6 million acres compared with 2021.
Note to readers
The March 2022 Field Crop Survey, which collects information on crop planting intentions, was conducted from March 1 to March 29, 2022, and included about 11,500 farmers. Respondents 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 2022 will be released on December 2, 2022, and will be subject to revision for two years.
The 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 from 2% to 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.
Data on anticipated seeded areas may differ from data on actual seeded area to be released in July.
As part of the ongoing AgZero initiative, the Agriculture Division at Statistics Canada has begun assessing the feasibility of using alternative methods such as modelling to replace seeding intentions collected in March.
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.
For the latest information on the Census of Agriculture, visit the Census of Agriculture portal.
For more information on agriculture and food, visit the Agriculture and food statistics portal.
Data for March 2022 are compared with final 2021 data.
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; email@example.com) or Media Relations (firstname.lastname@example.org).