More Wheat and Oats, Fewer Canola Acres — StatsCan Acreage Report Shows Farmers Diversifying Crop Mix

Statistics Canada published its annual pre-seeding acreage estimates on Thursday morning. As expected, the planting intentions survey showed Canadian farmers plan to seed more wheat, oats and barley and less canola and soybeans than in 2014  (see chart.)

(click to enlarge)
(click to enlarge)

There were some surprises in the report, as the canola acreage projection of 19.4 million acres was almost 800 thousand acres below the average pre-report estimate.

“We really need 20 million acres of canola to keep canola supplies comfy. If acres are as low as 19.4, the canola supply outlook is going to tighten up for the coming year,” says Ken Ball, options broker and analyst with PI Financial, in the interview below.

Meanwhile, the increase in oat acres could exceed expectations, as the StatsCan estimate of 3.6 million acres was around half a million acres higher than the average trade guess.

The estimates are based on a survey of 11,500 farmers conducted from March 18 to March 31.

Ball discusses the numbers in the StatsCan report and how farmers might be planting more smaller-acreage crops to diversify pricing opportunities:

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