An expected steep decline in Ontario winter wheat area for harvest in 2024 appears to have been confirmed by Agricorp.
With planting for the 2024 crop now wrapped up, the provincial crop insurer this week pegged the number of insured winter wheat acres in the province at 697,000 (see map below). That does not tell the whole story of course, because not all wheat acres in the province are insured.
However, based on last year’s insured acres of 894,900 and Statistics Canada’s fall acreage estimate of about 1.1 million, the percentage of the 2023 crop covered by production insurance amounted to just over 81%. Assuming the same percentage of the 2024 crop is covered by production insurance means the total area for harvest in 2024 now stands at about 860,000 acres.
If accurate, that would represent a fall of 21.8% from wheat was planted in the fall of 2022. In fact, it could be the lowest Ontario winter wheat planted area since the 2015 crop, when farmers got just 700,000 acres into the ground.
Still, the drop in winter wheat acres is not a surprise. Given poor fall planting conditions in the province and much weaker prices compared to the previous fall, industry watchers earlier projected winter wheat acres in the province in the 850,000- to 900,000-acre range.