Grain marketer sees two million more canola acres next year

FarmLink Marketing Solutions is forecasting canola acreage will top the two-million mark, 
with most of that coming from spring wheat

The future is going to be even more golden, according to FarmLink Marketing Solutions, which is expecting farmers to up their canola plantings by more than two million acres next year.

The Winnipeg grain-marketing company is forecasting canola acreage to hit 22.05 million acres — up from this year’s 19.74 million acres and the five-year average of 18.85 million.

The company predicts much of that acreage will come from spring wheat (it’s forecasting 24.3 million acres versus 25.97 million this year). It also forecasts soybean, sunflowers and flax area to increase with corn, rye, oats and barley acres decreasing.

There are a number of trends at play heading into next year, including improving genetics for soybeans and corn that will allow those crops to expand into new areas, the company said in a press release. But the price will have to be attractive enough to encourage growers to plant the crops, it added.

Another trend is the spread of higher-yielding mid-grade wheat and unregistered varieties. Returns from soft white, CPS and winter wheat for 2014 are near the top of the range of options, and the growth is stealing acres from barley and CWRS, the company says.

But there are factors that could change its estimates, said Brenda Tjaden Lepp, the company’s chief analyst.

“First is this year’s carry-out. In several sectors, there is the risk of ballooning 2013-14 ending stocks, to the point that full bins would reduce farmers’ planting intentions,” she said. “Secondly, is where corn bottoms and stabilizes, because this could weigh on cereal prices harder and longer, hurting projected returns for 2014-15.

“Both influences seem to point to more of a shift out of cereals into canola, but any market that were to hold up in the face of depressed cereal markets would likely see 2014 acres come in above current projections.”

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