Preliminary Estimates of Principal Field Crops Areas Alberta, 2010

 
 
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Agri-Food Statistics Update - Issue No: CR10-1 - June 28, 2010

Collected from a variety of sources, the Statistics and Data Development Branch monitors statistical indicators of agri-food activity for Alberta. The Agri-Food Statistics Update is designed to provide users with commentary on current issues, trends and new developments related to agriculture and the food and beverage processing industries. Up-to-date statistics are supplemented with informative charts and diagrams. To gauge Alberta’s performance, comparative data and information are often available for Canada and the provinces.

Please refer to the following website for a listing of Agri-Food Statistics Update releases;
http://www1.agric.gov.ab.ca/$department/deptdocs.nsf/all/sdd5270

Preliminary Estimates of Principal Field Crops Areas Alberta, 2010
On June 23, 2010, Statistics Canada released a report entitled “Preliminary Estimates of Principal Field Crops Areas, Canada, 2010”. The crop area estimates shown for Alberta in the report were generated from a survey of more than 6,000 farms in the province, conducted by Statistics Canada during the period from May 25 to June 3, 2010.

The report shows that in 2010, Alberta producers have seeded more acres to canola and oats, but fewer acres to durum wheat. Areas seeded to spring wheat and barley are virtually unchanged from last year, while dry peas acreage is at a new record high. Summerfallow area is unchanged from last year. It is also worth mentioning, some producers may have seeded more barley and oats than intended earlier, due to the delayed seeding this spring.

The market outlook for agricultural commodities is the primary factor affecting producers’ decisions on crop acreage. Other factors include soil moisture conditions in spring, farm input costs, and the need for crop rotation.

It should be cautioned that since the 2010 crop seeded area estimates are preliminary, they are subject to revision. Statistics Canada is expected to release the first production estimates of 2010 field crops on August 20, 2010.

Total Seeded Area of Crops in Alberta Remains Practically Unchanged
On June 23, 2010, Statistics Canada released its report entitled “Preliminary Estimates of Principal Field Crops Areas, Canada, 2010”.  Based on the report, in 2010, the total seeded area of all principal field crops in Alberta is practically the same as in 2009, although year-over-year changes are evident among crops.  More acres have been seeded to canola and oats, but fewer acres to durum wheat, compared to 2009 (see Table 1).  The total area seeded to spring wheat and barley are similar to 2009, while dry peas acreage has set a new record.  The market outlook for agricultural commodities is the primary factor affecting producers’ decisions on crop acreage.  Other factors include soil moisture conditions in spring, farm input costs, and the need for crop rotation.  Summerfallow area is unchanged at 1.60 million acres. 

Seeded Area by Crop Type, Alberta
With respect to estimates for specific crops, a total of 5.96 million acres has been seeded to spring wheat.  This is one per cent higher than in 2009, and eight per cent above the 10-year average.  Total durum area is estimated at 420,000 acres, or 55 per cent lower than last year, and 54 per cent below the 10-year average.  The marked decline is attributed to low market prices and large global supplies.  For winter wheat, total area is estimated at 175,000 acres, down 33 per cent from 2009, but still 27 per cent above the 10-year average.  Overall, the total area seeded to wheat is estimated at 6.55 million acres, seven per cent lower than a year ago, and one per cent below the 10-year average. 

Due to the delayed seeding caused by excessive moisture in spring this year, some producers may have seeded more barley and oats than intended earlier.  Overall, Alberta producers have seeded a total of four million acres of barley, or one per cent higher than in 2009, but 15 per cent below the 10-year average.  The total area seeded to oats is estimated at 985,000 acres, 18 per cent higher than in 2009, but 22 per cent below the 10-year average.   

The total area seeded to canola is estimated at 5.20 million acres, up four per cent from 2009.  The acreage also matches the previous record set in 2008.  The increase in canola acreage is mainly attributed to favorable market prices.  The recent increase in domestic crushing capacity should improve the market opportunity for canola. 

Alberta producers have planted 960,000 acres of dry peas, a new industry high.  This is also 20 per cent higher than in 2009, and 49 per cent above the 10-year average.  The increase is partially attributed to its relatively low fertilizer requirement, when compared to other crops.  A total of 160,000 acres has been seeded to lentils.  This is 256 per cent higher than in 2009, and is attributed to relatively favorable market price, when compared to other crops in 2010. 

Figure 1 shows a comparison of seeded area for selected major crops in Alberta and Canada. 

2010 Projected Crop Production, Alberta
Shown in Table 2 is the 2010 crop production for Alberta, based on anticipated harvested areas and 10-year average yields.

Total spring wheat production is projected at 6.41 million tonnes, or four per cent higher than last year, and ten per cent above the 10-year average.  Durum wheat production could fall by 59 per cent from 2009, to 407,000 tonnes, while oats could increase 86 per cent, to 575,000 tonnes.  For barley, total production is projected at 4.49 million tonnes, up 17 per cent from 2009, but still six per cent below the 10-year average. 

Total canola production could increase to 3.57 million tonnes, up 13 per cent from 2009, and 27 per cent higher than the 10-year average.  For dry peas, production could reach 868,000 tonnes, or 30 per cent higher than in 2009, and 56 per cent above the 10-year average. 
 
 
 
 
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This information published to the web on July 7, 2010.
Last Reviewed/Revised on July 31, 2015.