Canadian wheat area higher; oats, barley lower

by Ron Sterk
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OTTAWA — Canadian farmers intend to plant more wheat, canola, soybeans and flaxseed but significantly less barley, oats and corn than a year ago, Statistics Canada said today in its report of principal field crop planting intentions.

Farmers indicated they intend to plant 25,109,000 acres to all wheat this year, up 3,492,000 acres, or 16%, from 21,617,000 acres last year, Statistics Canada said. Intended seedings of spring wheat other than durum were 16,584,000 acres, up 1,369,000 acres, or 9%, from 15,215,000 in 2007. Winter wheat area was forecast at 2,625,000 acres, up 1,038,000 acres, or 65%, from 1,587,000 acres in 2007.

Spring wheat area was expected to increase in all three major grain producing Prairie Provinces of Saskatchewan, Alberta and Manitoba, but still remain below the five-year average in Manitoba and Saskatchewan, Statistics Canada said.

Durum plantings were expected to be 5,900,000 acres, up 1,085,000 acres, or 22.5%, from 4,815,000 acres a year ago.

Planting intentions data was gathered from a sample of 16,000 Canadian farmers from March 20-31.

Canola plantings were indicated at 14,805,000 acres, up 79,000 acres from a year ago. Plantings of canola in the three Prairie Provinces were expected to be record large at 14.7 million acres, Statistics Canada said. Soybean area was expected to be 2,985,000 acres, up 69,000 acres, or 2%, from 2007. Flaxseed planting intentions were 1,470,000 acres, up 165,000 acres, or 13%, from last year.

Intended plantings of oats were 4,485,000 acres, down 923,000 acres, or 17%, from 2007. Canada is the major source of milling quality oats for the U.S. and export markets.

Barley planting intentions were 9,332,000 acres, down 1,533,000 acres, or 14%, from last year. Corn area was expected to total 3,005,000 acres, down 434,000 acres, or 13%, from 2007.

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