June 29, 2020 / 1:14 PM / 4 days ago

UPDATE 1-Canadian farmers plant more wheat in 2020; coronavirus to cause problems

 (Adds details of plantings, background, Statscan commentary)
    OTTAWA, June 29 (Reuters) - Canadian farmers planted
slightly more wheat overall in 2020 than in 2019, but the
coronavirus outbreak will pose "unique challenges" in the
production and distribution of crops, Statistics Canada said on
    Farmers planted 25.0 million acres of wheat, up 1.5% from
2019, thanks in part to a 16.2% boost in durum wheat, which
Statscan linked to favorable prices.
    Dry conditions early in seeding aided planting progress,
with the exception of much of Alberta and north-western
Saskatchewan, which received more rain than usual.
    The survey was conducted from May 14 to June 11, polling
around 24,500 farms. Statscan said the coronavirus pandemic had
not interfered with the collection of data.
    Canola plantings slipped 0.8% to 20.8 million acres as
farmers shifted away from oilseeds, potentially because of high
global supplies.
    "While seeding progress during this reference period may not
have been directly impacted by COVID-19, farmers have and
continue to face their own set of unique challenges in the
regular production and distribution of their crops due to the
pandemic," Statscan said in a commentary.

 (Reporting by David Ljunggren; Editing by Edmund Blair and Paul
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