Canadian Farmers to Boost Canola Acreage With Uptick in Demand

Canadian farmers will up their acreage of commodities in high global demand this spring such as canola, barley and soy, while planting less wheat and peas, according to Statistics Canada.

Canola plantings are seen increasing for the first time since 2017 after prices soared to the highest in more than a decade this month amid strong appetite from China, the agency said in a report released Tuesday. Meanwhile, farmers will boost barley acreage by about 14% during the 2021-2022 crop year and soybean plantings will also rise following price rallies in both commodities.

“Area dedicated to wheat may decrease as some farmers anticipate planting more oilseeds,” according to Statistics Canada.

Stronger global demand for canola this year has sparked fears of a shortage of the oilseed used for vegetable oil, processed foods and animal feed. China has accelerated its imports from Canada, the world’s biggest canola producer, leading to dwindling stockpiles. Meanwhile, several suppliers have plans in the works to increase their Canadian canola processing over the next few years.

Farmers are forecast to plant 23.3 million acres of wheat in 2021, down about 7% from last year, largely due to a drop in spring wheat plantings. Meanwhile, peas, used in plant-based food products that are rising in popularity, will see a 10% drop in planted area.

Key Statistics Canada estimates:
  • Canola area will rise by about 4% from last year to 21.5 million acres, becoming the biggest seeded area since 2018
  • Barley acreage is expected to jump to 8.6 million acres this year
  • Soybeans plantings are expected to rise by 5.5% to 5.3 million acres

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