2021 Farms.com Risk Management Ontario Planting Intentions Report


2021 7th Annual Farms.com Risk Management
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 - Gail J, Haldimand-Norfolk
  • $200 - Larry P, Huron
  • $100 - Leo R, Elgin

The Farms.com Risk Management 2021 Ontario farmer survey conducted January 22 – March 21st, 2021, with 431 farmers, is forecasting that Ontario (ON) farmers intend to plant 6.203 million acres of corn, soybeans and all wheat combined this year. This is higher by 0.16% vs. last year, but below 2019 total at 6.4 million. 95,500 acres are unaccounted for in ON in 2021 when compared to 2019’s total at 6.4. 

A similar story is being played out in the 2021 U.S. acreage battle, where 3 - 3.5 million acres are unaccounted for vs. last year. 2021 intended ON corn acres are at a RECORD 2.81 million, which is higher by 4.1% vs. last year, and above the 5-year average of 2.16 million. Total 2021 soybean acres fall below 3 million compared to last year and 2016.

OMAFRA is forecasting a big Ontario wheat crop, with acreage at 1.228 million vs. this survey’s forecast of 1.066 million (154,000 acres less). 

$6.00 corn and $16 soybeans for new crop, could favour more soybeans acres in 2021? “If the farmer booked their fertilizer inputs early last fall, the intended corn acres will get planted. But we are hearing more and more reports of farmers switching corn seed bags for soybeans.” said Chief Commodity Strategist Moe Agostino. Fertilizer prices have soared by over 44% in just 5-months and many smaller farmers who usually do not book forward their input needs will be forced to plant soybeans instead. 40% of all respondents said they were increasing acres to corn, soybeans and wheat, 30% were unchanged and 30% on average were decreasing acres vs. 2020.

2021 planting intentions survey responses

In 2021, Ontario farmers are expected to plant 4.1% more corn acres year-on-year (Y/Y), which amounts to +90,058 acres, and sets a new record of 2,281,058 total ON corn acres, with most of the increase coming from Southern Ontario. 2021 ON soybean intended acres will be higher slightly, up by +6,511 acres, vs. last year, but below 3 million, with more acres in Central and Western Ontario. IP soybean acres are down slightly Y/Y (-0.57%), while canola acres are up 88.92% Y/Y at 7,536. Soft White winter wheat acres are up +30.79% Y/Y in the survey, while barley acres down -41.14% and oats are down -20.14% Y/Y.

2021 planting intentions survey

A lower Canadian dollar (CDN $) continues to provide a bonus to Ontario farmers for the 6th consecutive year. But a new normal has arrived and that is despite a stronger commodity currency (up 12 cents since the COVID-19 lows in March of 2020), basis is higher. As futures rise, so do basis, and vice versa. One key factor that continues to outweigh all others is record strong global demand.

Greg Stewart, former OMAFRA “Corn Guru” and now agronomist for Maizex Seeds, says he is not surprised by the results but thinks that, “if we can get a fast start out of the gate with ideal weather conditions, we will hold onto the anticipated corn acres.” Moe Agostino agrees but says, “Most acres will stick to a rotation but profitability in soybeans, soaring fertilizer prices, and more importantly availability, will put a cap on ON corn acres in 2021. The yield drag with corn on corn acres, higher costs and the potential for increased disease will also weigh.”

2021 planting intentions survey

The acreage estimates in this report are based primarily on surveys conducted during the months of January - March 2021. The 2021 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.

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