Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada expects farmers in Canada to increase the area seeded to all wheat and barley in the spring of 2013, as area seeded to canola and most other crops posts a small decline.
The federal agriculture department's Winnipeg-based market analysis group on Tuesday released its first look at planting decisions for the upcoming 2013-14 crop year.
Area to be seeded to all wheat in Canada during the spring of 2013 was forecast at 25.326 million acres, which would be up from the 23.828 million seeded during the spring of 2012.
Of the all-wheat area in 2013, durum was expected to account for 4.819 million acres, which compares with the 4.679 million acres seeded in 2012.
Seeded area to barley in Canada in the spring of 2013 was pegged at 7.784 million acres, up slightly from the 7.405 million acres seeded in the spring of 2012.
Canola acreage in the spring of 2013 was seen declining to 21.251 million acres from the record 21.531 million seeded at the same time in 2012.
The market analysis group said early indications had suggested that canola area in Canada would have been lower this spring due to disease issues and crop rotation needs. However, attractive prices were seen keeping seeded area close to the year-ago level.
Producers in Canada were expected to reduce the area that will be seeded to oats. The analysis group forecast that oat area in Canada this spring will come in at 2.595 million acres, which would be down from the 2.854 million planted at the same time a year ago.
Flaxseed area in Canada was projected to come in at 915,000 acres, down fractionally from the 980,000 seeded in 2012.
Total soybean area in Canada was forecast at 4.794 million acres, up from 4.152 million planted in 2012. Much of the soybean area will be planted in Ontario, but the popularity of the crop, along with attractive values, has increased interest in planting the crop in Manitoba, as well as in Saskatchewan and even Alberta.
The market analysis group estimated 2013 summerfallow area at a modern-day low of 4.349 million acres. During 2012, 4.485 million acres of cropland in Canada were left as summerfallow.
AAFC's market analysis group cautioned the actual area seeded will be influenced by expected net returns, current prices, expected delivery opportunities, weather, crop rotation requirements and on-farm stocks as well as world events.
-- Dwayne Klassen writes for Commodity News Service Canada, a Winnipeg company specializing in grain and commodity market reporting.
Table: AAFC's breakdown of intended 2013-14 seeded area in Canada, in millions of acres. Source: Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, market analysis group.