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Canola tops with Manitoba grain farmers

RUTH BONNEVILLE / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS FILES Enlarge Image

Canola has retained its title as the most popular crop among Manitoba grain farmers, according to new Statistics Canada data released today.

The agency said Manitoba farmers have reported seeding 3.1 million acres of canola this spring. Although that was a 1.7 per decline from 2013, wheat took an even bigger hit. The number of acres seeded to various varieties of wheat dropped by 11.6 per cent to 2.9 million from 3.3 million, the data shows.

As expected, Manitoba farmers also planted another record amount of soybeans this year. The number of seeded acres jumped by 23.8 per cent, or 250,000 acres, to 1.3 million.

It was the seventh consecutive increase in soybean acreage for Manitoba, the agency added.

Other crops that proved to be more popular this year than last were oats — up 8.9 per cent to 490,000 acres from 450,000; and sunflower seeds — up a whopping 42.9 per cent to 100,000 acres. That’s about equal to the average for the last five years in Manitoba.

Other crops that proved less popular were barley — down 25.6 per cent to 335,000 acres from 450,000; and corn for grain — down 23.7 per cent to 290,000 acres from 380,000.

The seeded acreage numbers are based on a survey of Canadian farmers conducted between May 28 and June. 10. At the time, spring seeding was approximately 71.2 per cent completed in Manitoba, Statistics Canada said.

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