Canada’s farmers migrate to grains at the expense of canola: Ministry

21 Jun 2022 | Liliana Minton

A June report from Agriculture and Agri Food Canada (AAFC) has shown that the field crop area in the August 2022 to July 2023 season will see an expansion in wheat and durum, rising by 6% and 13% respectively, while the canola area is expected to fall by 7% following last summer’s drought.

“The outlook for the world’s grain markets continues to be uncertain on a combination of strong demand and tight supplies, highlighted by the Russian invasion of Ukraine which has disrupted Black Sea production and global trade patterns,” the report said.

Crop prices in 2022/23 are expected to ease slightly from current levels but are likely to remain strong as a forecasted return to normal production is coupled with rising world demand, the ministry said.

Wheat output in 2022/23 (excl. durum) is pegged at 27.4 million mt, up 44% on 2021/22, with the area expected to rise 6% from last season to 7.68 million has, while a return to normal yields is expected.

Uncertainty remains for wheat yields however, due to both cold and wet weather and persistent dryness across Alberta and some regions of Saskatchewan.

Exports are forecast to rebound to 17.8 million mt, up 42% on the season, due to greater availability and increased demand from Africa and Asia.

For durum wheat, output in 2022/23 is forecast at 5.68 million mt, more than double the prior season's output, owing to a 13% increase in area at 2.52 million has, while exports are pegged at 4.4 million mt - a jump of 91% from the previous season.  

Wheat plantings are almost complete, and attention has now moved to weather conditions as rainfall is needed to fill soil moisture deficits.

For canola, production is forecast at 17.9 million mt - the eight largest on record if achieved - as a return to normal yields is expected to offset a 7% decline in the planted area, which is estimated at 8.5 million has.

Canola exports are expected at 8.8 million mt, up 71% on the prior season - a volume that was unchanged from previous ministry estimates.

A period of dry weather is needed to help with canola planting progress and crop development, which is running three to four weeks behind in the some parts of the eastern Prairies.