Statistics Canada spent a lot of money doing its Seeding Intentions Report released yesterday, but the report has limited value. A total of 12,600 farmers were surveyed at the end of March to come up with the numbers. The report seems to assume that we will suddenly have a normal year and all the acres we want to seed will be seeded. Thus, summerfallow acreage in Western Canada is forecast to drop from 11.6 million acres last year to just over 5 million acres. A lot of those extra acres that we’ll magically be able to seed are supposed to go into canola. A record 19.2 million acres of canola is expected, up 14 per cent from last year. Saskatchewan, which has the greatest area affected by water, is expected to increase canola acreage by 25 per cent – a whopping two million acres. The actual seeded area will depend on the weather over the next month, but a lot of analysts are discounting the canola prediction. Here are some of the other numbers. Western Canadian durum acreage is expected to increase by 60 per cent after a record low year in 2010. Oats are up 39 per cent, barley is up 13 per cent, field peas are down 20 per cent, while flax is up 30 per cent. In crops where Saskatchewan dominates production, lentils are expected to be down 19 per cent in the province, mustard down 28 per cent and canaryseed up by 8 per cent. In my mind, the number with the least credibility is the canola estimate.
I’m Kevin Hursh.