Stronger prices for wheat and rising input prices, particularly for fertilizer and chemicals, induced Canadian farmers to shift from rapeseed which has relatively high input costs to spring wheat which has relatively low input costs. Low crush margins and large stock levels at the beginning of the planting season were also factors which encouraged farmers to shift away from rapeseed. Wheat area for the 2001/02 season is estimated at 11.3 million hectares, up 330,000 hectares from last year. This compares with a drop of 816,000 hectares of rapeseed forecast for this year, lowering area to 4.0 million hectares. Barley also is down this year, dropping 50,000 hectares to 4.5 million. Other crops which took area from rapeseed are oats, field peas, and chick peas. Large areas, foreseen as summer-fallow in March planting intentions, appear to have been planted.
As of early August, dry growing conditions have
dimmed crop yield prospects. Drought conditions hit primary grain
areas in parts of Alberta and Saskatchewan. Above normal rainfall
has occurred in Manitoba and the Peace River Valley of Alberta.
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