CANADA (9 February)
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada reported their outlook for the 2005/06 crop seeding in early February. Early indications point to an increase in the overall wheat area at the expense of reduced barley and oilseed areas but also with some fallow land being planted. The soft wheat area is expected to increase by about 4 percent and a marginal increase in the durum area is also forecast. However, a return to average yields is expected after last year’s high levels and the aggregate wheat output in 2005 is tentatively forecast to fall by about 6 percent to 24.4 million tonnes. Production of coarse grains is also expected to decrease somewhat in 2005 by about 2 percent to 26.1 million tonnes. The reduction is expected as the combined result of reduced barley plantings and a return to average yields after bumper levels last year for all coarse grains in general.