Canadian farmers react to market signals

CANADIAN farmers are swinging to canola and barley at the expense of wheat, oats and pulses in the current winter/spring cropping cycle. That was the washup of the latest Statistics Canada principal field crop report, which was released early last week.

Statistics Canada said the total area seeded to field crops this year is projected to increase by 1.8 per cent (pc) to 26.893 million hectares (Mha) based on favourable market conditions and historical trends. However, total production is forecast to decrease slightly, on the assumption of a return to trend yields from the record production of 2020-21.

This year’s four-week survey period concluded on March 29, with Statistics Canada tabulating responses from more than 11,500 farmers regarding their planting intentions for the 2021/22 production year. Winter wheat has been in the ground for many months now and is emerging from its winter dormancy. However, the spring planting program is about to move into top gear amid dry soil moisture conditions in many areas and grain prices on fire.

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