2023 Farms.com Risk Management 9th Annual
Ontario Planting Intentions Survey Results
Congratulations to the Winners of the Random Draw Prizes!
As our way of saying thank you for completing the Farms.com Risk Management Planting Intentions Survey, three survey participants were chosen at random to win cash prizes.
Congratulations to the following cash prize winners!
- $300 - Ron Amey, Lennox Addington
- $200 - Ross Babula, Chatham-Kent
- $100 - Bill Rood, Oxford
Total Ontario planted acreage up +1.44% in 2023 along with a NEW RECORD HIGH FOR CORN ACRES!
A 2023 Farms.com Risk Management Ontario farmer survey, conducted during January 15th - March 18th, 2023, from a total of 442 survey participants is projecting that Ontario (ON) farmers intend to plant 6.391 million acres of corn, soybeans and all wheat combined this year. This is lower than the 2019 record high of 6.415 million but above the recent average of 6.3 million acres. Intended Ontario corn acres in 2023 are a NEW RECORD at 2.277 million acres, which is up by +0.06% vs. 2022 and above the 5-year average of 2.194 million. Total 2023 intended soybean acres are down -4.38% vs. Stats Canada’s final 2022 estimates and below the 5-year average of 3.0 million. All Ontario wheat acres at 1.168 million are up +24% vs. last year but not a new record high. Our survey may be light on all wheat acres as we had very few participants in the Central and Northern regions of the province. Agricorp, which insures 73-75% of the province’s all wheat acres, is estimating the province's insured acreage at 857,998 for 2023. This could mean that the provincial 2023 all wheat acreage is closer to 1.143 -1.175 mil acres, which is in-line with our survey estimates. These figures compare to OMAFRA's (Stats Canada) current projection of 1.344 million acres which seems a little high?
Moe Agostino, Chief Commodity Strategist with Farms.com Risk Management, is saying that, “I am not surprised to hear that corn acres are higher as too many acres were planted to soybeans for the 2nd consecutive year last year and farmers are being forced to go back to a rotation to control disease and weeds despite elevated fertilizer prices. Higher corn productivity and higher profitability is attracting more corn acres.” We gained wheat acres in 2023 and lost soybean acres. In fact, the survey showed a decrease in edible and IP soybean acres of -17.55% and -4.13% year-on-year (Y/Y) respectively despite very high historical premiums!
According to Stephen Denys, Director of Business Management, Maizex Seeds, “the final survey results also do not surprise us as our strong seed sales are matching up with your survey. Corn is still penciling in for many. The swing acres in corn are in the heavy clay regions like Haldimand, Lambton and southwest Kent that do not have driers. If you drive around the province, it looks like we have 1.2 – 1.3 million wheat acres this year as good planting conditions allowed more wheat to be planted last fall.” Steve Denys goes on to say, “there is some chatter from smaller producers about switching corn acres to soybeans because of high input, drying costs and affordability.”
2023 Ontario wheat acres will not be switched in the spring to other crops
Henry Prinzen, Chief Agronomist for Maizex Seeds, is saying, “the 1.2 – 1.3 million acres to wheat is reasonable”, and he does not think that anyone will be switching out to other crops even in Oxford county’s sweet ground. It all looks good across the province with very little winter kill. I am not surprised that more corn acres are going into the ground and the higher total acres makes sense as we continue to lose more hay acres”, he says.
SRW wheat acres account for 90% of the total ON all wheat acreage in 2023. 65% of the survey respondents said that they were going to increase wheat acreage.
According to Peter Johnson (aka Wheat Pete), “there will be very minimal winter kill and the wheat crop looks in good shape, even for the Niagara region. It’s way too early to call a record wheat crop but if the June weather of 2023 is similar to 2022 and the June cooler nights provide a longer grain filling period of 35 days vs. the average at 30, then with the better start than last year, it could potentially result in another record wheat crop.” For the first time in a long time, Eastern Ontario according to our survey has reduced HRW and HRS and is growing more SRW acres.
In 2023, Ontario farmers are expected to plant more corn acres Y/Y with the gains coming in from Southern and Eastern Ontario, at +0.55% and +2.875% respectively. 2023 Ontario soybean intended acres are down across the board except in Western Ontario. All wheat acreage is up in all regions across the province but SWW, HRS and HRW are all down. Other crops that are down in acres include IP, edible soybeans, oats, sugar beets and corn for silage. The big “gainers” included canola (+75.87%), SRW (+38.18%) and barley (+23.07%).
Weather and price will dictate what gets planted
The weather forecast is calling for more heat soon and we will need a good spring to hold onto those record corn acres. The bottom line is that despite elevated fertilizer prices, it still makes sense to plant more corn acres in 2023 due to higher productivity and profitability.
The acreage estimates in this report are based primarily on surveys conducted during the months of January - March 2023. The 2023 Farms.com Risk Management Planting Intentions Survey is a probability survey that includes a sample of farmers from across Ontario. This survey used to make acreage estimates is subject to sampling and non-sampling errors that are common to all surveys. Sampling errors represent the variability between estimates that would result if many different samples were surveyed at the same time. Sampling errors for major crops are generally between 1.0 – 3.0% but they cannot be applied directly to the acreage published in this report to determine confidence intervals because the official estimates represent a composite of information from more than a single source.