Canada Markets

USDA Small-Crop Acreage Data

By Cliff Jamieson , Canadian Grains Analyst
A look at selected small-crop acreage data from Monday's USDA Acreage report indicates a significant year-to-year increase in acreage of confection sunflowers, canola, flax and dry edible beans. Lentil and barley acreage decreased, while durum acreage remained unchanged and well below expectations. (DTN graphic by Nick Scalise)

Before USDA had a chance to release Monday morning's data, there were social media reports with reminders that excessive moisture in the northern states has not only hampered some planting efforts, but has also damaged planted crop, leading some to believe that some acreage estimates may be overstated. I made a similar suggestion when it comes to the Canadian acreage report on Friday, where surveys were conducted in a period of time when the prospects of seeding some land may have appeared favorable while the weather failed to cooperate.

Total wheat acres in the United States were reported to grow 0.6% from 2013's acreage to 56.474 million acres, above trade expectations. Spring wheat acres, however, saw a boost of 9.6% over 2013 to 12.709 ma. On a percentage basis, the state of Washington showed the largest increase with a 22% increase to 610,000 acres. The largest acreage increase is seen in North Dakota, where acres are expected to increase by 800,000 acres to 5.9 ma. As of June 29, the North Dakota Crop Conditions report indicated the spring wheat crop is rated as being 83% good to excellent.

Durum acres reported Monday could be viewed as a surprise. Overall, durum acres were reported to be 1,000 acres lower than last year at 1.469 ma. Losses seen in southern desert durum in Arizona and California along with a decline in Montana were offset by a 75,000 acre increase in North Dakota. This acreage is below the 1.799 ma reported last by USDA in March, while the average trade estimate was suggesting 1.787 ma to be seeded. Combine this with weather-related problems in the southeast of Saskatchewan and this market may be one to watch. DTN's National Durum Index has marched from $6.90 per bu at the beginning of the month to $8.59 as of Friday, during a time when other cereal markets including spring wheat were under pressure. As of June 29, the durum crop in North Dakota was rated at 86% good to excellent.

Confection sunflowers indicate a year-to-year increase of 71,500 acres, or 24.1%, to 368,000 acres. The largest interest is again seen in North Dakota, which saw acres grow 96% or 71,000 acres. As of June 29, the state crop report indicated that the total sunflower crop was 97% planted, well ahead of the 86% planted this time last year and ahead of the 94% five-year average.

The U.S. saw planted acres of flax and canola increase this year over last, with flax acres up 83.4% and canola up 30%. Flax acres leaped to 332,000 acres, with a doubling of acres seen in North Dakota from 150,000 acres to 300,000 acres. Monday's Crop Progress report indicated the crop to be rated as 79% good to excellent. Canola acres in the U.S. were reported at 1.753 ma, up 30% from 2013. Of interest is a 22% increase in Oklahoma to 250,000 acres. The largest acreage gain is seen in North Dakota, where acres jumped 38% or 350,000 acres to 1.270 million acres, or 74.4% of the national total. Monday's Crop Progress report indicates the North Dakota canola crop to be 27% blooming, which is average for the crop, while the crop is rated 81% good to excellent.

Oat acres in the U.S. were reported to have held steady at 3.027 ma, while barley acres were reported to fall 11% to 3.091 million acres. The largest drop was seen in North Dakota, where acres fell 110,000 acres to 650,000 acres. This crop was rated at 79% good to excellent.

Dry edible bean acreage in the U.S. was reported to grow 29% to 1.75 million acres. USDA lists 18 states where edible bean acres are reported, with the largest, North Dakota, reporting a year-over-year increase of 59% to 700,000 acres. Monday's State Crop Report indicated the dry bean crop is just ahead of average and rated at 72% good to excellent. Dry edible pea production in the U.S. was reported to have increased 7.1% to 921,000 acres, while lentil acres across the country fell 11.6% to 320,000 acres.

Cliff Jamieson can be reached at cliff.jamieson@dtn.com

Follow Cliff Jamieson on Twitter @CliffJamieson

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