Analysis

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Preliminary estimates of principal field crop areas

As of June 3, 2011, Prairie farmers had either planted, or intended to plant, a record area of canola and greatly increased areas of durum wheat and oats in the 2011 planting season. In the East, Quebec farmers anticipate a record high area for soybeans.

Seeding has not been completed in all regions, as reported by farmers. A major factor has been the continued inclement weather in the eastern Prairie region and areas of Ontario and Quebec. This has caused delays in seeding and created uncertainty for farmers about which crops to seed.

As a result, estimates of seeded areas may change in the July survey, the results of which will be released on August 24.

Anticipated record high in canola seeded acreage

Prairie canola producers increased their plantings in 2011 by 17.7% or 3.0 million acres to a record 19.6 million acres. The previous record of 16.6 million acres was set in 2010.

Records would be set in both Saskatchewan, where the area seeded in canola is anticipated to increase 30.8%, and in Alberta, where it is expected to rise 12.6%. In Manitoba, farmers reported a 4.2% decrease in seeded area, the result of continued inclement weather.

Area for durum wheat up sharply

Prairie farmers anticipate the acreage in durum wheat will increase by 38.9%, or 1.2 million acres, to 4.4 million acres in 2011.

In Saskatchewan, where the majority of Canadian durum is grown, farmers have either seeded, or intend to seed, 3.9 million acres, up 38.0% or 1.1 million acres. Alberta farmers planted an additional 165,000 acres to an estimated 525,000 acres.

Significant increase of acres seeded to oats

At the national level, farmers have seeded or intend to seed 3.8 million acres of oats, an increase of 30.9% on the 2.9 million acres seeded in 2010.

Saskatchewan farmers account for the majority of these additional acres, since they planted 1.8 million acres this year, as compared to 930,000 acres in 2010.

Eastern farmers set to plant more soybeans

Farmers in Quebec reported a 7.6% increase in the acreage for soybeans to 696,800 acres. This would surpass the province's previous record high for soybeans of 647,400 acres set in 2010.

Ontario farmers planted 2.4 million acres of soybeans, nearly the same level as what was recorded in 2010.

Decline in dry field pea area

The area planted to dry field peas in the Prairies is expected to decline by 935,000 acres to 2.5 million acres. It would be the lowest seeded area since 1999.

The dry field pea area has declined in each Prairie province. In Manitoba, the seeded area dropped 56.3% to 35,000 acres; in Saskatchewan, it was down 28.0% to 1.8 million acres, while in Alberta, it fell 22.0% to 710,000 acres.