Canada Markets

Statistics Canada's Seeded Acre Estimates: June Versus Final

Cliff Jamieson
By  Cliff Jamieson , Canadian Grains Analyst
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This chart plots the percent change in seeded acres from the June preliminary estimates for selected crops to the final seeded acres released in December for 2018 (brown bars) and the five-year average (blue bars). (DTN graphic by Cliff Jamieson)

In advance of the June 26 Principal Field Crops report to be released by Statistics Canada, we look at historical trends in the seeded area estimates from the June preliminary data to the final estimates released in early December. This study will also consider pre-report estimates released on Monday in advance of the Wednesday report.

Given the selected crops on the attached graphic, the percent change from the seeded acres estimated in June to the final acreage estimate has decreased overall in the 2017-18 and 2018-19 crop years as compared to the previous three years, as indicated by the small percentages marked by the brown bars as compared to the five-year average or blue bars. Flax could be one exception with final acres in 2018 down 3.2% from the June estimate, a significantly larger shift than the five-year average of a .9% drop from June to December. Of the crops shown, flax is the only crop where the seeded acreage estimate declined from June to December in both 2018 as well as seen in the five-year average.

The data calculated for five of the crops shown on this graphic are also consistent in that in 2018, seeded acres were estimated higher in December, while on average over five years, a similar upward revision is seen. These crops include canola, peas, soybeans, spring wheat and Canada's all-wheat estimate. Of these crops, only canola showed an upward revision in estimated acres from the June estimate to the final estimate in December in each of the past five years. This ranged from a .3% increase in 2018 to a 4.8% increase in 2015, while the average increase averages 2.6% over these five years.

The trend is revising the final estimate for canola acres higher in December, but this could be one year that deviates from this trend. A dry spring combined with export trade concerns is thought to have led to a lower seeded acreage of canola across the Prairies than estimated in March, with pre-report estimates reported in DTN's Winnipeg Pit Talk ranging from 19.8 million acres to 21.35 million acres, which compares to 21.315 million estimated in March and the 22.8 million planted in 2018. Pre-report estimates seem to be leading to a further reduction in acres from the area seeded in 2018 and from the March intentions report, while Wednesday's report could signal how quickly this acreage will be revised lower.

While most of the estimates released in March fall close to the middle of the range of the pre-report estimates for this week, another crop that could surprise is barley. In March, an estimated 7.155 million acres was intended to be seeded, according to Statistics Canada, while the range of pre-report estimates ahead of the June report is 7 million to 7.5 million. This could prove a significant increase from the 6.5 million acres planted in 2018.

Perhaps the most uncertainty in the June report will be in estimated acres for both soybeans and corn, with planting delays faced in eastern Canada that will have led to uncertainty during the June survey period. In 2018, this survey period ranged from May 28 to June 10, which would be earlier than Ontario's planting deadline for insurance purposes for both soybeans and corn in 2019.

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