StatsCan confirms intentions of more lentils, oats, and durum, and not quite as many canola acres in ’24

(Kara Oosterhuis/RealAgriculture)

Canadian farmers will be planting more pulse crops, oats, and durum in 2024.

Acres of corn and soybeans are expected to be similar to last year, while wheat and canola area is expected to drop slightly, according to Statistics Canada’s acreage estimates published on Monday, March 11.

Most of the estimates were within the range of what the trade was expecting. The largest exception was likely lower-than-expected acreage increases for peas and lentils.

Nationally, StatsCan says farmers intend to plant 27 million acres of wheat, up 0.1% from last year. Durum wheat area is projected to rise more than 5 per cent to 6.3 million acres, with spring wheat area declining by 1.2 per cent to 19.2 million acres and winter wheat seeded area dropping 3.6 per cent to 1.5 million acres.

Canola acreage is projected to drop 3.1 per cent to 21.4 million in 2024, led by a nearly 5 per cent drop in acres in Saskatchewan.

The national soybean acreage is pegged at 5.6 million, down 0.9 per cent from last year with higher acres in Ontario offset by lower soybean acres in Manitoba and Quebec.

Corn acres are expected to increase by 1.6 per cent to 3.9 million acres nationally, with more corn going in the ground in Manitoba and Quebec.

Oat acres are expected to bounce back to 3.1 million, up 21.6 per cent from last year, while barley area is expected to fall slightly to 7.1 million acre in 2024.

In addition to oats, western farmers are planning to seed more lentils. Lentil acreage is forecast at 3.8 million, up 4.4 per cent from last year — on the lower end of pre-report trade estimates. Pea acreage is expected to rise 2.4 per cent to 3.1 million acres in 2024.

Some other lower acreage crops, such as chickpeas, canary seed and dry beans, are also expected to see significant acreage increases.

The StatsCan field crop survey results are based on a survey of around 9,600 farmers that was conducted two months ago — from Dec. 14, 2023 to Jan. 22, 2024, so it’s quite possible further shifts have occurred since farmers were asked.

The agency is scheduled to release updated acreage estimates in June.

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