Intended plantings of most oilseeds were lower while grains and other crops were mixed. Area for durum, winter wheat, barley, corn, fall rye and lentils was up from 2015, while planted area for spring wheat, soybeans and canola was lower.
The Statistics Canada numbers were above the average of trade expectations for all wheat, durum, barley, corn and lentils, but below the average for canola and soybeans.
Total area planted to all wheat was forecast at 23.846 million acres, down 1% from 24.111 million acres in 2015, Statistics Canada said. Spring wheat area was forecast at 16.044 million acres, down 6% from last year, durum area at 6.120 million acres, up 5%, and winter wheat area at 1.682 million acres, up 32%.
“Each of the Prairie provinces expected lower seeding areas for wheat compared with 2015, while farmers in the East anticipate seeding more wheat,” Statistics Canada said.
Saskatchewan intended total wheat area was 12.6 million acres, down 3.5% from 2015, with spring wheat area at 7.1 million acres, down 10%, and durum area at 5.3 million acres, up 5.5%, and the highest since 2000.
Alberta farmers indicated they expect to plant 6.8 million acres of wheat, down less than 1%, including 5.8 million acres of spring wheat, down 2%, and 845,000 acres of durum, up 3%.
Manitoba growers intend to seed 2.8 million acres of spring wheat, down 3%.
Canola planted area for 2016 was forecast at 19.345 million acres, down 4% from 20.095 million acres last year. Area was forecast at 10.4 million acres in Saskatchewan, down 3%, at 5.6 million acres in Alberta, down 8%, and at 3.1 million acres in Manitoba, unchanged.
Farmers said they intend to plant 5.306 million acres of soybeans, down 2% from last year.
Planting intentions for corn were 3.477 million acres, up 6%, for barley were 6.777 million acres, up 4%, and for fall rye were 337,000 acres, up 30%.
The March farm survey, which collects information for planting intentions from about 11,500 farmers, was conducted March 16-31, Statistics Canada said.