Statistics Canada on April 26, based on a survey conducted in late March, indicated Canadian farmers intend to plant a record large area to canola as well as more acres to spring wheat, oats, corn and soybeans, but fewer acres to durum, barley, flaxseed and dry peas than a year ago.

Canadian farmers intend to plant 23,221,100 acres to wheat this year, down 1,235,800 acres, or 5%, from 24,456,900 acres last year, Statistics Canada said. Intended seedings of spring wheat other than durum were 18,129,600 acres, up 1,199,600 acres, or 7%, from 16,930,000 acres in 2009 and up 11% from 2008. Durum plantings were expected to be 3,685,000 acres, down 1,975,000 acres, or 35%, from 5,660,000 acres a year ago and down 39% from two years ago.

“Prairie farmers anticipate seeding considerably less durum wheat,” Statistics Canada said. “This decline in seeded area appears to be primarily farmers’ reaction to unattractive prices as a result of large world carry-in stocks from 2009.”

Statistics Canada estimated the area seeded to winter wheat for harvest in 2010 at 1,406,500 acres, down 460,400 acres, or 25%, from 1,866,900 acres in 2009 and down 46% from 2008.

Canola planting intentions were estimated at a record 16,907,200 acres, up 707,500 acres, or 4%, from the previous record plantings of 16,199,700 acres a year ago and up 5% from two year’s ago. “This would be the fourth consecutive annual increase in canola area in the prairies,” Statistics Canada said.

Soybean planted area was expected to be 3,532,000 acres, up 87,000 acres, or 3%, from 2009. Flaxseed planting intentions were 1,435,000 acres, down 275,000 acres, or 16%, from last year.

Intended plantings of oats were 3,992,400 acres, up 260,900 acres, or 7%, from 3,731,500 acres in 2009 but down 8% from 2008. Canada is the major source of milling quality oats for the U.S. and other export markets.

Barley planting intentions were 8,344,100 acres, down 319,200 acres, or 4%, from 2009. Corn plantings were expected to total 3,016,000 acres, up 42,100 acres, or 1%, from 2009. Intended area for field peas was estimated at 3,620,000 acres, down 140,000 acres, or 4%, from 2009.

Statistics Canada numbers for all-wheat, durum, canola and barley were below the average of pre-report trade expectations, while oats and flaxseed forecasts were as expected.

Planting intentions data were gathered from a sample of 13,800 Canadian farmers from March 24-31.