AAFC sees more wheat, less canola planted

Canadian farmers will plant more wheat and a bit less canola in 2013, Canada’s Agriculture Department said in its latest planting forecast, which offered a slightly reduced wheat-planting estimate from the previous month.

Attractive prices and a modest shift away from canola and other crops should entice farmers into planting more wheat, according to the forecast for the 2013-14 crop-marketing year from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, issued March 19.

The more closely watched Statistics Canada will issue its first planting estimates based on a farmer survey on April 24.

Canola plantings are expected to slip on concerns about growing the oilseed too frequently on the same land and attractive returns for other crops.

Canada is the world’s biggest producer of canola, or rapeseed, and the sixth-largest wheat grower. Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada uses analysis and not a farmer survey to calculate estimates.

The department trimmed its estimate for all-wheat-seeded area by 0.4 per cent to 25.229 million acres from its February estimate, but left it up 5.8 per cent from last year.

Ag Canada pegged the canola-seeded acreage at 21.251 million acres, unchanged from its last estimate and down about one per cent from last year.

Ag Canada’s estimate for durum plantings is 4.72 million acres, up a tad from 4.7 million acres last year but down slightly from the previous estimate of 4.819 million acres.

The department left its barley- and oat-seeded area estimates unchanged at 7.784 million acres and 2.595 million acres respectively.

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