The Stats Can seeding intentions report released on Friday had lots of surprises. Perhaps the biggest surprise is field peas. Most observers have been calling for a decline in pea acreage. The seeding intentions survey shows a five per cent increase in peas to a new record of 4.2 million acres. With yellow peas at only $6 a bushel and with new crop contracts at only $5.50 a bushel, peas aren’t very attractive from a price perspective. In southern Saskatchewan, there’s an expectation that a lot of pea acres will switch to lentils where the price forecast is much stronger. While Stats Can is calling for an increase in lentil acres, those numbers are in line with trade estimates. Perhaps peas will be down in the south, but pick up acreage in central and northern regions of the grain belt. Another surprise is that the prediction that barley acreage will be up slightly. Like peas, barley was thought to be decreasing due to poor prices. It’s easy to discredit the Stats Can numbers. They’re based on a survey taken weeks ago and many producers claim they don’t provide accurate information when called. While actual seeded acreage often varies from the intentions report, Stats Can usually picks the overall trend. The numbers might be surprising, but they’re the best estimates available. I’m Kevin Hursh.

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Kevin Hursh, PAg, CAC