Canadian farmers expect to plant the largest wheat crop in more than two decades this year amid strong demand for the grain.
Statistics Canada said Wednesday that farmers plan to plant 23 million acres of wheat, up 6.2% from a year earlier.
According to the federal agency’s report on principal field crop areas, the anticipated growth is possibly due to favorable prices and strong demand for wheat.
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which sparked a war that has been going on for more than a year, has pushed up global wheat prices, with Ukraine being one of the largest wheat exporters in the world.
Prices have since declined significantly from last year’s highs, but remain relatively high from a historical perspective.
Benchmark Chicago wheat futures were trading midday Wednesday at around US$6.49 a bushel.
The war in Ukraine is just one of many upheavals Canadian farmers have faced in the past year.
These challenges included inflationary pressures on commodities like fertilizer and fuel, as well as higher interest rates.
Farmers have also faced more severe weather over the past decade, including a severe drought in 2021.
Statistics Canada pointed out that farmers also expect to plant more canola, grain corn, barley and soybeans in 2023 than last year, while seeding acres of oats, lentils and dry peas should decrease.