Wet Years on the Prairies and Implications for Seeded Acres

These maps would show the wettest years in recent history, including the years from 2010 to 2014, 2016 and 2017. None of the maps for these seven years reflect the current map as of May 16, 2022, which shows precipitation above the average for the southeastern Prairies. as well as the Northwest Prairies or the Peace region of Alberta.

If we compare these seven weeks to the Statistics Canada summerfallow area estimates, as shown below, we find that the summerfallow area estimate has increased year over year in four of the seven years in question. What stands out is an increase of 4.735 million acres or 80% of summerfallow acres between 2009 and 2010 to 10.671 million acres, or 44.5% above the five-year average. Summerfallow acres increased an additional 1.092 million acres or 10.2% to 11.763 million acres from 2010 to 2011.

When looking at the change in seeded acreage between March intentions data from Statistics Canada, released in April, and final acreage reported in December, it can be seen that in 2010, spring wheat acreage decreased of 1.688 million acres between first intentions and actual seeded acreage. ; durum acres fell 535,000 acres; barley acres fell 1.4 million acres; and canola acres increased by 678,700 mt. This year was unique in that precipitation from April 1 to May 31 was well above average across much of the Prairies, with area losses observed in all three provinces.

In 2011, spring wheat area fell 2.2 million acres between the March intentions report and final seeded area; durum fell 1.039 million acres; barley from 1.2 million acres; and canola fell 275,000 acres between March intentions report estimates and final estimates. Again, the precipitation map from April 1 to May 31 was unique, with above-average precipitation well below Highway #1 in southern Alberta and Saskatchewan, while including most of of Manitoba.

When the other five years in question are taken into account (2012-14, 2016, 2017), the area seeded to spring wheat increased from 174,000 acres to 862,700 acres between the March intentions and the final estimate of the seeded area, while decreasing on average by 868,000 acres. over the seven years. Canola acreage increased from March intentions to final estimated acreage in just one of seven years, while increasing an average of 955,000 acres between the March intentions report and final seeded acreage.

Cliff Jamieson can be reached at [email protected]

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