Stats Canada survey says farmers intend on planting more pulses this year

Statistics Canada released results of a survey asking what farmers intend to seed this season.

The 2024 seeding intentions for principal field crops surveyed 3,239 Saskatchewan farmers between December 14th to January 22nd. Farmers plan on seeding more durum wheat, lentils, dry field peas, oats, and canary seed, but less canola, spring wheat, barley, mustard seed, and flaxseed.

The Chief Agricultural Editor of Kevin Hursh reviewed the numbers, and says Saskatchewan falls in line with the rest of the country for expected seeded acreage of most crops, except for lentils.

“The acreage overall, and in Saskatchewan, is expected to go up but the acreage is actually expected to go down a little bit in Alberta. That’s because Alberta is a more minor lentil producer and they grow red lentils,” Hursh said. “StatsCan didn’t differentiate between greens and reds but I think reds are certainly a lot lower price and probably that’s why those grown in Alberta will go down and reds in Saskatchewan may go down as well, but greens will probably go up substantially.” 

Saskatchewan farmers plan on seeding 5.5 percent more lentils this year at 3.4 million acres. Seeded acres for spring wheat is expected to be down 3.1 percent to 8.9 million acres, but durum wheat is expected to go up 5.3 percent to 5.2 million acres.

“I think that’s a testament to neither one are all that attractive price-wise but durum does have a strong price premium still over that of spring wheat,” Hursh believes.”That’s why they’re talking about a durum wheat acreage increase…and overall spring wheat is expected to decrease.”

Here are some of the other planting intentions: seeded canola is expected to be down 4.9 percent at 11.8 million acres; barley drops slightly to 2.8 million acres; dry peas is up 2.4 percent to 1.6 million acres; flaxseed down 19.3 percent to 418-thousand 500 acres; mustard seed down 6.1 percent to 435-thousand 500 acres; and canary seed up 9.7 percent to 263-thousand 800 acres.

Hursh noted the data is subject to change due to farmers possibly making last minute changes, but for him, these numbers don’t change his plans of going “strong on pulse acres and a little bit of canary seed.”

“I pretty much got it cast in stone — it’s changed a number of times.” he added.

Statistics Canada will release its report on Stocks of Principal Field Crops on May 7.

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